Sunday, January 26, 2014

Forget building helicopters; Canadians can't figure out how to buy them!

Gather round children, and let gramps tell you about when Canada had its very own home-grown aircraft manufacturing industry.


Yes, that was another age, for sure. The can-do era. Not to be confused with the Candu era, wherein we contributed mightily to nuclear weapons proliferation in Asia, although Canadian competitiveness in that technology has become a mere memory too.

But yes, Canadian industry used to be able to build stuff, including state of the art aircraft. Alas, it was an industry destroyed by the politicians. And while we still harbour a Bell-Textron branch plant, the very idea that Canada has indigenous capabilities in aircraft manufacturing is laughable.

But if the politicians thought building this stuff was too complicated for us whores of wood and drawers of water, just watch them try to buy it. The Canadian Coast Guard is shopping around for new helicopters. The old ones are on average 30 years old, and apparently the nobs in Ottawa just figured out they'd need to be replaced.

Needless to say, this purchasing process is straining the capabilities of the Ottawankers to the max. For good reason. After all, look at how the purchase of Sea King replacements has worked out for them. Ottawa has been replacing the Sea King since 1983 and they still don't have any new helicopters! This saga has gone on so long the ordeal has its own Wikipedia entry! Those babies are over 50 years old now, and still no replacements? How is such a thing even possible?

Well, we're talking Ottawa here folks, where the routine is difficult and the difficult is impossible, and buying helicopters lies well beyond the pale...

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