CSC Costs – Again!

Dan Middlemiss, 10 December 2020.

Today, journalist David Pugliese wrote another long exposé of the planning, or lack thereof, behind Ottawa’s Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) [1]. His article, allegedly based on thousands of pages of documents obtained via access to information requests and other sources, depicts the concern of federal bureaucrats that the public would discover the true cost of the CSC and would balk in sticker shock at the enormous price tag.

Much of his revelations focus on the yet unexplained reversal by Ottawa in 2016. Initially the plan was to rely on a mature, existing ship design to save production time and money. Within months, Ottawa reversed its decision, and this paved the way for Lockheed Martin Canada’s Type 26 ship design from the British BAE company to enter the competition in a big way.

This account makes for interesting reading, and suggests that federal bureaucrats have been far less than forthcoming about what they already knew about the huge costs of the chosen ship design. And all this transpired before the Covid-19 pandemic, and the federal spending spree it has engendered, had entered the picture as another possible factor which may undercut support for the CSC project.

Doubtless, many of the bureaucrats identified in Pugliese’s article, will soon be responding to the charges he outlines in his article.

References:

  1. David Pugliese, “Billions in trouble: How the crown jewel of Canada’s shipbuilding strategy became a possible financial disaster waiting in the wings,” Ottawacitizen.com, 10 December 2020. Accessed at https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/billions-in-trouble-how-the-crown-jewel-of-canadas-shipbuilding-strategy-became-a-possible-financial-disaster-waiting-in-the-wings

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