May 17, 2013
I woke up to some fascinating news … Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford is alleged to have been videotaped while smoking crack cocaine:
The U.S. website gawker.com published an article late Thursday alleged it had been offered a video of Ford “smoking crack cocaine” — and the Toronto sellers were hoping to get six-figures for the video.
“First of all, I’ve spoken to the mayor yesterday and secondly, he denies any such allegation,” Ford’s lawyer Dennis Morris told the Toronto Sun Friday.
Morris wasn’t sure if Ford would address the allegations Friday.
“We’ll just have to see how that unfolds,” he said.
Asked if the mayor plans any legal action, Morris said they’re at the “bottom rung of the ladder of anything of that nature now.”
[. . .]
In the wake of the gawker.com story, the Toronto Star published a story Friday morning by two reporters who state they were shown the alleged video earlier this month and alleging Somali drug dealers are shopping the video around.
While I’m far from a Rob Ford fan, I do find this story to be hard to believe. Ford has managed some awesome face-palm moments during his term in office but I can’t credit that any politician would put himself into this kind of situation. Either way, Toronto politics have been much more interesting since Ford was elected.
Update: Here’s the Toronto Star story:
The footage begins with the mayor mumbling. His eyes are half-closed. He waves his arms around erratically. A man’s voice tells him he should be coaching football because that’s what he’s good at.
Ford agrees and nods his head, bobbing on his chair.
He says something like “Yeah, I take these kids . . . minorities” but soon he rambles off again.
Ford says something like: “Everyone expects me to be right-wing, I’m . . .” and again he trails off.
At one point he raises the lighter and moves it in a circle motion beneath the pipe, inhaling deeply.
Next, the voice raises the name of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. The man says he can’t stand him and that he wants to shove his foot up the young leader’s “ass so far it comes out the other end.”
Ford nods and bobs on his chair and appears to say, “Justin Trudeau’s a fag.”
The man taping the mayor keeps the video trained on him. Then the phone rings. Ford looks at the camera and says something like “that better not be on.”
The phone shuts off.
Update the second: Popehat calls it the “most wonderful legal threat ever”:
Various journalists are claiming they have seen a video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack.
This led to the most darling legal threat ever from a lawyer named Dennis Morris — who has represented Ford for some time — to Gawker
[. . .]
This is delightful, like that video of the kitten freaking out when it sees a lizard.
First, nobody ever governed themselves accordingly based on a threat from a hotmail account. Second, are you using some sort of comma-based operating system? Third, what the fuck are you talking about?
This sets a high bar.
May 15, 2013
It wasn’t supposed to go down like this:
First things first: British Columbians last night witnessed the most incredible comeback in recent political history, and the biggest choke the province has ever seen.
In the days ahead, Christy Clark’s stunning, come-from-behind win will be endlessly compared to Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s surprise win over Wildrose in 2011. But this is so much harder to believe.
For starters, Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives were actually leading Wildrose in polls right up until the election. The B.C. Liberals have essentially been trailing the NDP since 2009 (briefly, after the 2011 leadership race that saw Clark take the Liberal helm, the party moved ahead of the NDP in polls before again plunging far behind).
And in Alberta, Wildrose leader Danielle Smith made serious campaign blunders. Many Albertans scurried back to the PCs, worried Smith wasn’t ready for prime time. But B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix made no major mistakes. In fact, Dix’s campaign had so impressed the Globe and Mail that yesterday it published a premature ode to his campaign. Dix’s positive style would surely become a model for politicians across the country, it argued.
Just how historic was the Liberal win? Going back 20 years, there are no examples of a government in a parliamentary system trailing by such a wide margin for the 18 months leading up to an election, then coming from behind for the win.
And the Liberals didn’t just win; they increased their seat count, giving Clark a comfortable, 50-seat majority (the NDP won just 32 seats).
Those results almost perfectly reversed predictions of pollsters who, after yet another spectacularly bad call, will certainly face tough questions.
Stephen Gordon fired off a tweetstorm yesterday:
Politicians have to deal with an unpleasant climate change fact: Canadian voters are rank hypocrites. We are willing to do … (1/n)
— Stephen Gordon (@stephenfgordon) May 14, 2013
… whatever it takes to reduce greenhouse gases – everything except suffer personal incovenience. Regulations are popular because … (2/n)
— Stephen Gordon (@stephenfgordon) May 14, 2013
.. politicians can claim that since they aren’t taking any $$ in, consumers won’t be paying more. Cap-and-trade is popular because …
— Stephen Gordon (@stephenfgordon) May 14, 2013
… politicans can claim that only Big Polluters (ptew! ptew!) will pay, and not consumers. Both claims are demonstably false, yet those …
— Stephen Gordon (@stephenfgordon) May 14, 2013
.. narratives are the only ones that can survive, given our manifest unwillingness to face the fact that real climate change action ..
— Stephen Gordon (@stephenfgordon) May 14, 2013
… involves accepting personal inceonvenience. No politician wins votes by saying “you people are hypocrites”, so these fictions …
— Stephen Gordon (@stephenfgordon) May 14, 2013
… will dominate Canadian climate change discussions until Canadians accept their responsibilities. That is to say, never. /rant
— Stephen Gordon (@stephenfgordon) May 14, 2013
May 14, 2013
In Maclean’s, James Cowan makes the case for liberating the CBC from the shackles of government subsidy, as it’s now out-competing private business in several fields:
The online success of the CBC should be laudable. Its website received an average of 6.2-million unique visitors last year, making it the most popular Canadian website. Around 4.3-million people visit the CBC News site each month, besting both The Globe and Mail and Huffington Post. Adding to this success is an ambitious five-year plan that will open digital-only news operations in cities like Hamilton and Kamloops and allocate 5 per cent of the overall programming budget to digital content. Once upon a time, it was only private TV and radio broadcasters who had reason to grumble about competing with the Crown corporation; in building its online empire, the CBC is taking on everyone from newspapers to Netflix.
In doing so, the CBC has strayed a long way from its original purpose: to sustain Canadian culture when and where the market cannot. The problem is, the CBC’s traditional funding model now allows it to build its digital empire unfettered by economic reality. In its last quarter, 60 per cent of the company’s expenses were paid by government subsidies while just 21 per cent of its revenue comes from advertising. All media companies are struggling to adapt to shifting consumer and advertising patterns brought about by the digital age; only the CBC had $1.2 billion in government cash to fund its experiments and ease the transition.
Broadcasters would argue the CBC has always operated from an unfair advantage. But the current scenario is different in several respects. For one, the Corp.’s legislated mandate to be “predominantly and distinctly Canadian” arguably placed it at a commercial disadvantage. Further, capital and regulatory requirements made it implausible for commercial broadcasters to serve many areas of the country. But nobody needs to ask the CRTC’s permission to create a website, and the startup costs for a digital service are far less than those of a television or radio station. If small cities like Kamloops need a local digital news service, that’s a need that could be plausibly served by entrepreneurs. The CBC is increasingly no longer complementing the market, but instead meddling within it.
It was suggested that Peter Worthington write his own obituary:
If you are reading this, I am dead.
How’s that for a lead?
Guarantees you read on, at least for a bit.
When the Sun’s George Gross died suddenly in March 2008, at age 85, there were few of his contemporaries left alive to recall the old days, when he was in his prime and his world was young. I was one of the few who knew him then.
After attending his funeral I half-facetiously remarked to the Toronto Sun’s deputy managing editor, Al Parker, that I had been around so long that no one was left who knew me back then, and I had better write my own obituary.
“Good idea!” said Parker with more enthusiasm than I appreciated.
I mentioned it to my wife, Yvonne, who approved.
So here it is, not exactly an obit but a reflection back on a life and a career that I had never planned, but which unfolded in a way that I’ve never regretted.
May 13, 2013
680News reports on the death of Toronto newspaperman Peter Worthington yesterday:
Well-known journalist Peter Worthington, the founding editor of the Toronto Sun, has died. He was 86.
The Toronto Sun reported Worthington died Sunday night at Toronto General Hospital, where he had been admitted with a staph infection.
Worthington enlisted in the Canadian Navy when he was 17 and served in the Korean War before becoming a journalist.
As a former staff reporter at the Toronto Telegram, he covered the Vietnam War, and was in the Dallas courthouse parking garage in 1963 when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby.
He also reported on conflicts in the Gaza Strip, the Portuguese Colonial War, the invasion of Netherlands’ New Guinea by Indonesia and was in the northeast frontier of India when Chinese forces invaded, the Sun reported.
After the Telegram folded in 1971, Worthington, J. Douglas Creighton and Don Hunt founded the Toronto Sun.
I met Peter Worthington in 1982 when he attempted to enter politics as a Progressive Conservative. After he was defeated for the PC nomination, he ran as an independent candidate in a lively but ultimately unsuccessful by-election campaign. In 1984, he secured the PC nomination, but lost at the polls (he joked with supporters after the election that it took real skill to lose in the middle of a PC landslide — Mulroney took 211 of the 282 seats in parliament in that election).
Anthony Matijas discusses the privately owned organization that controls the majority of beer sales in Ontario:
The Beer Store’s employees will not be going on strike because they are not public sector employees. That may seem obvious to some, but according to an independent survey cited by a government report, 60% of people in Ontario believe The Beer Store to be a state-run entity. No doubt they benefit from the confusion, which may placate customers wondering why they pay so much more for beer than districts such as Quebec and New York state, where beer is sold in corner stores. The Beer Store fosters this ambiguity by designing their stores to be about as welcoming as a Service Ontario outlet.
In fact, the retailer is co-owned by three of Canada’s largest brewers, Molson, Labatt’s, and Sleeman, none of which are entirely Canadian companies. Molson merged with Coors of Denver in 2005, Labatt’s is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev of Belgium, and Sleeman is owned by Sapporo of Japan. Aside from the LCBO, which enjoys a far more modest market share and generally does not supply restaurants and bars — and microbreweries, which are allowed to sell retail beer only on premises — The Beer Store maintains a government-protected monopoly.
[. . .]
Meanwhile, brewers who aren’t part of the beer cartel must pay what they describe as exorbitant listing prices to have their products placed in Beer Store locations and, once they do, their visibility is generally limited to a coaster-sized listing on the wall, often nowhere near eye-level. Anyone who doesn’t live next door to a Beer Store is likely to pass several billboards for multinational swill on the way and, not frequenting an LCBO, one may not be aware of the many local craft beers available. Those who are near-sighted, and have forgotten their corrective eyewear, may just end up walking out of there with a two-four of Coors Light and a sad look in their eyes.
Revoking Beer Store exceptionalism should be a matter all Ontarians could agree upon, regardless of ideology. A state sponsored monopoly defies the free-market principles of conservatives, while special privileges for multinational corporations should not sit well with supporters of either one of the left-of-centre parties. Furthermore, the largely foreign ownership of Canada’s big breweries means that The Beer Store in no way compliments the economic nationalist tendencies of the NDP.
International Space Station Commander, Chris Hadfield, performs a revised version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Seen in this video is the Larrivée Parlor guitar that has found it’s home on the ISS for the last decade. Chris has used this Parlor, the first guitar in space, to write and record the first musical recordings in space. Here at Larrivée we refer to Chris as “The Space Cowboy”.
Below is the original description as posted by Chris himself on his YouTube channel… enjoy.
Published on May 12, 2013
A revised version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.
With thanks to Emm Gryner, Joe Corcoran, Andrew Tidby and Evan Hadfield for all their hard work.
That Bowie remake wasn’t even Chris Hadfield’s first video in space – here he is live with Barenaked Ladies youtube.com/watch?v=AvAnfi…
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) May 13, 2013
May 10, 2013
Despite the federal government’s efforts to keep this debate from happening, we apparently are going to be having a big national debate about abortion. (For those following from outside the borders of Former Soviet Canuckistan, Canada doesn’t actually have any abortion law on the books at the moment, and Stephen Harper’s government of “bitter-clinging, right-wing, Bible-thumping, fundamentalist Christian” Conservatives is desperate not to have to bring one in.) Colby Cosh explains why the efforts by some back-bench MPs to use “gendercide” as a way to force the government’s hand won’t work:
Here, then, is my contribution to the big conversation.
(1) “Gendercide” is incoherent religious militancy in cheap drag. (Editors certainly shouldn’t be taking sides by putting it in headlines as if it were an actual thing.)
(2) However you feel about personal eugenics, which is an accurate name for “mothers choosing babies that are likely to be better in some respect they deem relevant”, the Era Of It is arriving now and will not be wished away.
(3) Sex-selective abortion perpetrated for reasons of religious superstition is, upon all evidence, a marginal phenomenon in this country, probably a fading one, and quite likely to be an inherently self-correcting one. It makes a shabby excuse for blowing up the political truce our country clings to when it comes to the topic of abortion. (It seems remotely possible that Stephen Harper has perceived this and concurs with it.)
(4) In particular, no statute is likely to be effective against sex selection by mothers. We had one, you know, and it actually made a hypothetical exception for parents at risk of X-linked gene disease. A Liberal government devoted to “reproductive choice” criminalized sex-selective embryo implantation by means of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act; a Supreme Court found that law offensive to the Constitution; and a Conservative government closed the agency that was supposed to enforce it because it had accomplished the sum total of jack squat ever.
(5) People who wish to police sex-selective abortion had better figure out what exactly kinds they don’t like. And why. And what other reasons for a woman to have an abortion don’t cut their brand of mustard. And whether they really want their wives, girlfriends, daughters or nieces to end up as a future Case 6 running afoul of the law.
(6) Fellow-travellers of Mark Warawa who think he makes an awesome test case for parliamentary purity should consider looking for one that, pardon the metaphor, doesn’t have quite so many oopsies in its DNA.
May 9, 2013
We’re in the final week before the LCBO is threatening a strike. Michael Pinkus suggests we should let ‘em walk:
For the third time in a decade the LCBO is holding Ontario hostage — and just like they did in 2005 and 2009 when the threat of a strike was on the table, they’ll be an 11th hour (more like on the 11th hour and 59 minute mark) resolution where the LCBO employees get everything they want because the province does not want to lose the revenue the LCBO brings into the province. Screw the teachers, they take money out of the system, but the LCBO brings it in, so they should get whatever they ask for, right? It’s the approach taken by every government who has “stared down” the LCBO, and lost. Not that I’m necessarily for the teachers, but if it’s a choice between educating our youth or feeding our appetite for liquor I know which side I fall on … and so would any right minded Ontarian — it’s the booze that wins out every time.
And just like in 2005 and 2009 the LCBO will make a ton of money in the days before the “strike”. It’ll be a feeding frenzy of mammoth proportions in the aisles, right up to the last hour. Shelves will be decimated as people stock up for what surely will be touted as long, drawn out labour strife … that’ll never come. And why do I say that? Because any right thinking Ontarian knows that if the LCBO goes on strike it means more than loss of revenue to the province, or an inability to get out of country booze … it means the end of the LCBO (and everyone involved knows that).
Take a peak around us privatization is today’s buzz-word and it’s all around us. In our own country, to the south, in Europe — at corner stores, in supermarkets and in specialty stores … heck even Pennsylvania is getting into the act of loosening their liquor laws (and nobody thought that day would come) — but not here in NO-FUN-Tario, a have not province … we sit under the rules and thumb of the Liquor Control Board. If they go on strike questions will be raised as to why we have a provincially run system, why we support unionized workers, or why we can’t be more liberal with our booze (plus you just know some idiot will want to declare it an essential service). So it does not behoove the LCBO to walk off the job and the government won’t allow it because they’ll be tough questions to answer. So don’t go betting the farm on a labour dispute and seeing picket sign toting employees at the local Board store — this one will end like all the others, with the LCBO threatening to walk out, a mass throng of buyers the day before, and the sun rising to a new dawn the next day with a new deal for LCBO employees … and all will be right in Ontario for another 4 years … when we’ll do it all again.
Update: A report in the Toronto Star claims that Ontario could earn a $1 billion windfall by allowing private liquor stores into the province:
“If the Ontario liquor industry mirrored ours in B.C., instead of $1.6 billion going to government, that number could be around $2.7 billion,” he states in his 15-page speech, which highlights the pluses for locally produced wines, beers and spirits.
With 635 stores and 219 convenience store locations in rural and northern Ontario, the LCBO last year reported net sales of $4.71 billion — up $218 million — and handed over to the Ontario treasury an all-time high of $1.63 billion, not including taxes.
“If Ontario allowed private liquor stores, consumers would have access to hundreds of new VQA wines, craft beers and spirits.”
His comments come at a time when the LCBO plans to spend $100 million on expansion, including express outlets in 10 large grocery stores and expanded VQA sales, and while Tory Leader Tim Hudak calls for the booze monopoly to be privatized and for beer and wine to be sold in corner stores.
“A bit of competition makes the world go round . . . I think now that we are (in) 2013 it’s time for some change,” Hudak told reporters at Queen’s Park.
B.C. has had a mix of private and public liquor stores “to create better choices for producers to sell and for consumers to buy,” Baillie said.
Ontario currently does allow a tiny number of private wine stores to operate, but under incredibly restrictive conditions. For one thing, they’re only allowed to be located in areas the LCBO has determined are “underserved”, they may only sell wine from a single winery or winery group, and the number of stores is limited to the licenses that were granted to certain wineries before 1993.
Oh, and the kicker to all those restriction? If you manage to put in a store in an “underserved” area and make a profit? The LCBO can then turn around and re-designate your area to invalidate your license or place one of their own stores in the area and take away the business you’ve built up. Catch-22.
May 8, 2013
Last week, the CBC’s Terry Milewski posted an article questioning the progress and ongoing costs of the Arctic Patrol Ship program. The ships are supposed to be based on the same design as the Norwegian Coast Guard’s Svalbard:
The design was purchased for $5 million with the intent of revising it for Canadian requirements. The government allocated an incredible $288 million for the revisions. The original Svalbard cost about $100 million in 2002 … but that was to design, build, and launch the actual ship. Not just to come up with a revised design.
In yesterday’s Chronicle Herald, Paul McLeod predicted that the price of the patrol ships will rise in the same way that the F-35 project costs have risen:
The mandate for the Arctic/offshore patrol ships is to do offshore work on Canada’s coasts and also be able to patrol icy northern waters. Yet a recent report by the Rideau Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives argues the ships will be able to do neither job well.
Co-authors Michael Byers and Stewart Webb say the ships will be too small to be effective icebreakers and will only be able to crash through thin ice in the warmer months. They also say the thick, reinforced hulls of the ships will make them too slow for patrolling jobs like chasing off smugglers or illegal fishing boats.
And of course, because we’re designing them from scratch, they will cost far more than an off-the-shelf design.
So the purchase of the original plans — a trivial amount in proportion to the current budget — was a waste of money because the new ships are in effect going to be a new design anyway.
The PBO only looked at two ships being built in Vancouver, but there’s no reason to expect the same problems won’t hit Halifax. The $3-billion price tag for the Arctic/offshore patrol ships has stayed the same for years, though purchasing power has decreased.
Ottawa still says it expects to buy six to eight Arctic/offshore patrol ships but almost no one believes eight is realistic anymore. The Byers-Webb report points out that the navy initially wanted the ships to be able to drive bow-first or stern-first, like Norwegian patrol vessels. That feature was ruled out; presumably it was too expensive.
The ships will still be built in Canada because it would be politically disastrous to move those jobs overseas now. Fair enough. There’s historically been a 20 to 30 per cent markup on building ships in Canada, says Ken Hansen, a maritime security analyst at Dalhousie.
So in summary, we’re going to be paying a higher per-ship price for fewer ships with lower capabilities than we originally specified? This really is starting to sound like a maritime version of the F-35 program. And the Joint Support Ship program. And the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter project.
Mark Steyn talks about the spectacle of “bickering genocides” as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights attempts to pay equal attention to all victims of genocide:
My sometime boss the late Izzy Asper was a media magnate whose lifelong dream was a world-class Holocaust memorial in his home town of Winnipeg. For the usual diversity-celebrating reasons, it evolved into a more general “Canadian Museum for Human Rights,” and is now lumbering toward its opening date under the aegis of Izzy’s daughter, Gail. Having been put through the mill by Canada’s “Human Rights” Commissions, I naturally despise any juxtaposition of the words “Canadian” and “human rights.” But if you have to yoke them, this is the place: To paraphrase Justin’s fellow musician Joni Mitchell, they took all the rights and put ‘em in a rights museum, and they charged the people a dollar-and-a-half just to see ‘em.
But I’ve warmed up to what the blogger Scaramouche calls the Canadian Mausoleum for Human Rights. It could have been just the usual sucking maw of public monies had it not descended into an hilarious, er, urinating match of competing victimhoods. For those who thought “human rights” had something to do with freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and so forth, it turns out to be about which guy’s genocide is bigger. The Ukrainian-Canadian Congress was wary of the mausoleum from the get-go, suspicious that it would downplay the Holodomor, Stalin’s enforced famine in the Ukraine 80 years ago. The mausoleum assured them that they were going to go big on the Holodomor, but to guarantee the UCC came onboard offered to throw in a bonus exhibit of Canada’s internment of Ukrainian immigrants during World War I. This would be part of “Canada’s Journey,” a heartwarming historical pageant illustrating how the blood-soaked Canadian state has perpetrated one atrocity after another on native children, Chinese coolies, Japanese internees, Jews, gays, the transgendered, you name it. And, of course, the Ukrainians. Per Izzy’s wishes, the Holocaust would have pride of place in a separate exhibit, because, its dark bloody history notwithstanding, Canada apparently played a minimal role in the murder of six million Jews. However, the Holodomor would be included as a permanent featured genocide in the museum’s “Mass Atrocity Zone.”
Oh, you can laugh at the idea of a “Mass Atrocity Zone” tourist attraction in Winnipeg, but there isn’t an ethnic lobby group that doesn’t want in. The Polish-Canadian Congress complained that lumping all the non-Jew genocides in one Mass Atrocity Zone meant they’d have to be on a rotating schedule, like revolving pies on the lunch counter. The Armenian genocide was felt to be getting short shrift, considering it was the prototype 20th-century genocide. On the other hand, the Rwandan genocide, the last big 20th-century genocide, and the Congolese civil war don’t appear to have got a look-in at all. The Poles wanted room made for the Germans’ ill treatment of the Poles, which did not seem to be a priority of the mausoleum.
May 6, 2013
The CBC reports on a breathtaking news item … imported mozzarella cheese is being removed from the clutches of the supply management system, which will reduce prices by a significant amount:
Pizza lovers could soon be paying less for their favourite pies.
A ruling made this week by the Canadian Dairy Commission could soon allow Canadian restaurants to buy deeply discounted mozzarella cheese.
The commission changed the rules used to classify mozzarella cheese, putting the milk product in its own class and essentially removing it from supply-management pricing. Before the ruling, the price for mozzarella cheese in Canada was artificially high when compared to the world market.
The new class, to take effect June 1, is expected to result in lower costs for Canadian-made mozzarella for restaurants that prepare and cook pizzas on site.
Bob Abumeeiz, who owns Arcata Pizzeria in Windsor, Ont., said the ruling could drop the price of a large pizza by as much as 10 per cent.
Oh, and the cheese smuggling?
High prices are part of the reason some pizzeria owners were turning to contraband cheese, smuggled into Canada from the U.S.
Last fall CBC News learned three men, including one current and one former police officer from the Niagara Falls area, were charged in connection with an international cheese-smuggling network.
The men are accused of smuggling caseloads of cheap cheese from the U.S. to sell to Canadian pizzerias and restaurants.
May 2, 2013
Canada’s Arctic patrol ship design program just a job creation scheme that doesn’t actually create jobs in Canada
The CBC’s Terry Milewski on the Harper government’s much-heralded shipbuilding program which is far more expensive than it needs to be — because of the demand that the work be done in Canada — and yet somehow doesn’t even manage to create Canadian jobs:
Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose and Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced March 7 in Halifax that Ottawa will pay Irving Shipbuilding $288 million just to design — not build — a fleet of new Arctic offshore patrol ships.
Irving will then build the ships under a separate contract.
However, a survey of similar patrol ships bought by other countries shows they paid a fraction of that $288 million to actually build the ships — and paid less than a tenth as much for the design.
In addition, the design of Canada’s new ships is based upon a Norwegian vessel whose design Ottawa has already bought for just $5 million.
The Norwegian ship, the Svalbard, was designed and built for less than $100 million in 2002.
Experts say the design price is normally 10-20 per cent of the total cost of the ships.
But don’t worry … jobs are being created or saved by this major Canadian government project … in Denmark and in the United States:
Another criticism of the project is that much of the design work — in a project meant to create Canadian jobs — is actually going overseas.
Although Irving will manage the design project in Nova Scotia, it has subcontracted the actual production of final blueprints to a Danish firm, OMT. Seventy Danish ship architects will work on those.
The job of designing the systems integration is going to Lockheed Martin and the propulsion system will be designed by General Electric, both U.S. companies.
This is only to be expected, say supporters of the project.
“We’ve been dormant here for better than two decades now. We don’t have the skill sets inside the industry,” said Ken Hansen, editor of the Canadian Naval Review in Dartmouth, N.S.