Thursday, July 05, 2007

I've Shot Myself In The Foot, Again

Put this development in the DUH column:
Canada's 12 Halifax-class frigates will undergo a $3.1 billion, mid-life refit starting in 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Thursday.
Flanked by Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor and Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, Harper said the announcement was part of his government's commitment to strengthen the Canadian Forces.

Premier Rodney MacDonald wasn't invited to the event. The two leaders are still feuding over changes to the federal equalization program.

Harper said premiers are always informed when he heads to their provinces but in this case he was in Nova Scotia to make a "federal announcement." "We don't typically have other levels of government at a federal-only announcement," he said.

"At the same time, I think it's important that federal and provincial governments get along. Federal and provincial governments will disagree, but I do think the public expects that at some point, whether you disagree or not, you get on with business of the people and that's what we're doing."

Reading the article, the announcement itself is an afterthought, with full focus on the snub. You know you’re good, when you throw money around at a feel good event and still come off smelling like a skunk. Maybe the Prime Minister should direct Minister Flaherty to pen a letter for clarification ;) Off to Saskatchewan, for more favorable coverage.


Steve V said...

Conventional wisdom holds that the summer break works to the government's advantage. Touring the country, making announcements, looking relevant. Given the disasterous start to the season, Harper is proving again that conventional wisdom doesn't apply to this gang of keystone cops.

Anonymous said...

He stepped on his own announcement. It is not clear what he gains by alienating one Premier after another. Rodney MacDonald has been very quiet up until now.

I don't think he listens to his communications staff anymore. He is just going by his instincts. Unfortunately, when it comes to interpersonal relations, they are awful.

ottlib said...

Wow, a Stephen Harper announcement I can actually support without reservation.

The patrol frigates will indeed require their mid-life refits at the beginning of the next decade and they are announcing just that.

Calgary Junkie said...

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is planning a visit to Nova Scotia this week, possibly arriving in Halifax on Wednesday.

"That’s what I’ve understood," Sasha Irving, communications director for Premier Rodney MacDonald, said Monday. "It’s supposed to be happening."

Ms. Irving said the Prime Minister’s Office provided few details about his possible trip to Nova Scotia, only notifying the province’s protocol office about it on Friday.

"His advance people were here and security folks — as they always are ahead of a visit — and that’s all we know," Ms. Irving said. "They’ll have more information by Tuesday when we get back to the office."


Karen said...

I can't get your link to work Steve but based on this, I'd say there is little love lost for the conservatives in that neck of the woods.

Dave said...

Yes, Harper gets to announce it because he's the prime minister. But the midlife modernization of the frigates has been on the program track at NDHQ since April 2005. The go-ahead and promise of funding was provided by the previous Liberal government and there was money in the last Martin budget for this program.

Steve V said...


Is that some lame attempt to make it appear that everyone was in the loop? Harper himself admitted that this was a "federal" announcement, no need for notifications. You have something better than the horse's mouth?

Tootrusting said...

No word yet if the contracts have been awarded and if they have all been tendered.
So far 60% of defence contracts have not.
Has Stevie learnt anything about accountablity yet? we will see.
Expect the major contracts to go where the votes are.