Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Harper's Paperless Future

Honest to God, I thought this was a mistake (or maybe an excerpt from the Onion) when I read it:
Canada's defence strategy for the next 20 years will be based on speeches by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Defence Minister Peter Mac-Kay given yesterday in Halifax.

In a highly unusual move, the Conservative government will base its entire future rebuilding of the Canadian military on Mr. Harper's 10-minute speech and Mr. MacKay's 700-word address. No actual strategy document has been produced, or will be produced, according to government and defence officials. Neither speech went into any specific details about equipment purchases, costs or timelines or how the future strategy will unfold. Both speeches presented more broad-brush approaches to defence.

Asked about when the actual Canada First Defence Strategy was going to be released, Jay Paxton, Mr. MacKay's press secretary, replied: "It is a strategy that you heard enunciated by the prime minister and Minister MacKay."

"It is not a 'document' like a white paper -- it is the vision delivered today for long-term planning for the CF," he added. "As such, the speeches are the strategy."
It is almost as if the politicians, press and defense bureaucrats were all trying to keep a straight face while engaging in a huge joke, and not quite succeeding. This is how our government works now? Whenever Harper feels the need not to be in the House to answer questions, he flies to the nearest military facility and announces a new policy? Really? Very funny.
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