Saturday, May 12, 2012

Peter MacKay chastised over low estimates of Libyan mission cost

Canada flew over 400 missions above Libya part of the costly mission that was part of enforcing the no fly zone over Libya and supposedly protecting civilians by bombing Gadaffi forces and installations. However the total cost includes costs that would have been paid in any event. The added costs however still come in at around 100 million but that is according to department estimates.

There is considerable criticism of Defense Minister MacKay who told CBC the Libyan mission cost less than 50 million. McKay said at the time last October:"As of Oct. 13, the figures that I've received have us well below that, somewhere under $50 million," "And that's the all-up costs of the equipment that we have in the theatre, the transportation to get there, those that have been carrying out this critical mission."

MacKay has defended his figures. Technically MacKay is correct as a military officer testified but he pointed out that MacKay at the time also knew that the estimate for the total was 100 million. MacKay is expert at giving misleading low ball figures. The New Democratic Party foreign affairs critic said:"Peter’s (MacKay's) got problems with his math yet again and this government’s got problems with trying to figure out how to cost things," MacKay also gave a very low figure for the cost of purchasing F 35 fighter planes but the difference in that case was in the billions of dollars! For more see this CBC article.

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