Saturday, April 9, 2011

DND under 'political pressure' to hide Libya costs

Cost of Canadian action in Libya still unknown
Postmedia News: The war in Libya has cost the United States more than half a billion dollars so far, but Canadian taxpayers appear to be in for a longer wait before they find out how much the military campaign will ding their pocketbooks. Some Canadian Forces personnel have told their families they expect to be overseas for up to six months...

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told American lawmakers that the conflict cost the country $550 million in the first week of action... Canada's Defence Department, however, will not be releasing its cost figures at this time and does not have a date set for when that might happen. 'The department is not the the practice of putting forward estimates that may be subject to change because of all sorts of variables that are still in play,' said DND spokeswoman Jessie Chauhan... She added that the numbers aren't 'hard and fast.'

But Liberal Sen. Colin Kenny said that isn't the case. 'DND does have the figures,' said Kenny, the former chair of the Senate defence committee. 'They know all of these numbers but they don't want people to know they're spending a hell of a lot of money on a place most Canadians couldn't find on a map.'

Kenny said DND has specific numbers on what it costs to run a frigate per day, as well as operational costs for CF-18s and other aircraft. Military officers privately acknowledge he is right. 'The only reason I can think of for not releasing such figures is that DND is under political pressure not to do that,' said Kenny... There has been no public discussion of how long the Canadian contribution will be required.
Image source here.