Archive for December 13th, 2012

Second helping

- December 13th, 2012

So it’s not all bad news. Back in April I wrote about efforts by a couple of Ontario hospitals (Queensway Carleton here in Ottawa and Scarborough in Toronto) to improve their dismal institutional food. And now it turns out that the Centre hospitalier de l’université de Montréal has not only been trying to make their food healthier, they’ve sent three chefs to study at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec and bring back lessons to their colleagues.

Now it’s easy to be snide about this sort of thing, asking why it took so long for hospitals (of all places) to try to serve healthy food. But let’s not. When someone in the public sector tackles one of its chronic problems with apparent success, the appropriate response is congratulations.

OK, maybe you’re not ready to buy the cookbook that resulted. But still, it’s good news.

Flying flat

- December 13th, 2012

The latest on the F-35: Reset button!


A couple of things:

  • I’m not a fighter jet specialist and neither are you. But I do know one thing – if we do not act soon to replace those CF-18s, something bad is going to happen. Already last year in Libya, where Canada flew roughly 10% of NATO missions to enforce the no-fly zone (that’s about 6 sorties a day), officials fretted a great deal about the strain such a mission put on the aging equipment. So unless we’re prepared to live without an air force that can, you know, fly planes, we need something and pronto. And as far as I know, there are no cheap options.
  • What, exactly, is wrong with giving the military the tools they say they need? Why is the fact that so many commanders prefer the F-35 bad?
  • Given that Canada does not do a whole lot of unilateral military stuff, we need to make sure that the planes we end up buying can easily work with the planes of our allies. It’s called interoperability and it’s a good thing.
  • Yesterday’s number, at $46 billion over 42 years, comes down to just over $1-billion/year for fighter jets. That’s slightly less than the $1.1-billion/year we spend on the CBC. I wish parliamentarians spent half as much time debating whether it’s worth spending that kind of money on the CBC as they do thrashing the F-35.
  • So, is Peter MacKay finished?

Benghazi: About those survivors…

- December 13th, 2012

An interesting twist:

Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R- UT) told Breitbart News on Wednesday that he has been “thwarted” by the State Department from seeing any Americans who survived the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Many people forget that there were Americans who survived the Benghazi attack, some of whom were badly injured and are still recovering.

“My understanding is that we still have some people in the hospital. I’d like to visit with them and wish them nothing but the best but the State Department has seen it unfit for me to know who those people are—or even how many there are,” Rep. Chaffetz said. I don’t know who they are. I don’t know where they live. I don’t know what state they’re from. I don’t even know how many there are. It doesn’t seem right to me.

“This is so patently different than any other experience I’ve had. Unfortunately, people have been killed and maimed and in harm’s way in Afghanistan and Iraq and in points beyond. It’s typically been the case that they would release those names but in this case, they won’t. My challenge is to the media. You try and figure it out. They won’t let Congress know. They won’t seem to let the media know either.”

Breitbart News sent an inquiry to the State Department regarding those who survived the attack in Benghazi and is awaiting a response.

I expect they’ll be made to wait a long time.