Saudi Arabia still owes Canada $3.4 billion in late payments for Canadian LAVs
The latest quarterly financial results released by General Dynamics reveals that Saudi Arabia still owes Canada $3.4 billion in late payments for Light Armored Vehicles (LAVs). According to their quarterly earnings statements, the late payment debt has been growing by roughly $200 million every quarter since the beginning of the year.
According to CBC, the Trudeau government endorsed the controversial deal, originally made by the Harper government in 2014, to sell the Saudi government with hundreds of LAVs used to transfer troops.
The $14-billion contract was brokered and is managed by the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), a corporation that aids Canadian companies broker deals and contracts with foreign governments.
“There’s no dispute on the fact that it is owed,” CEO Phebe Novakovic said. “It’s simply a question of timing. And we’re still hopeful that we resolve that by the end of the year.”
According to CCC’s website, “every contract signed has the legal effect of being signed in the name of the Government of Canada, providing foreign government buyers with the assurance that the contract will be delivered per the agreed terms and conditions, guaranteed.”
While the late payments are a serious issue, David Perry, vice president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says that, while the sheer size of the unpaid sum is daunting, it isn’t the Canadian taxpayer or government that’s on the hook, but the CCC.
“Ultimately, right now, it’s not the government of Canada in the short term that is on the hook. It’s not the taxpayers. It’s actually the company that’s facing the impact of this payment shortfall more so than taxpayers,” Perry said.
To deal with the financial shortfall, earlier this year, the Liberal government announced that it will provide a repayable loan of up to $650 million to General Dynamics to keep it afloat in the international defence market.
Twenty percent of Canadians do not expect to escape debt in their lifetime, according to Global News. Based on a study by The Manulife Bank of Canada, Canadians believe that household debt has increased too much.
More worryingly, however, 67 percent of those in debt believe that the rest of the country is in serious debt, too. This study has also revealed that Canadians are terrible at spending: 45 percent of Canadians say that their spending is increasing faster than their income, which is an increase from 33 percent who said this in the spring.
The study also reported that more than 50 percent of Canadians carry considerable non-mortgage debt, and 60% are in credit card debt. As a result of all this, many Canadians may be in debt for some time.
This study was carried out after the financial firm, Equifax, became concerned with the debt of ordinary Canadians. Since 2014, Canadian debt has surged from $57,000 to $71,979.
Over recent decades, Canadian have become increasingly financially insecure. This sentiment has transitioned into a cynicism for our financial system. Most zoomers (generation z) believe that they will never get onto the property ladder or become debt-free.
In the summer of this year, a study showed that half of the Canadian population was only $200 away from financial disaster.
The Canadian Football League (CFL) is the greatest example of Canadian national pride and the symbolism of Canadiana within a sports setting. Canada has always been a country where diversity is not only accepted but considered a source of strength.
In the mid 20th century, CFL was a place where diversity was accepted, in particular as a playing ground for African-Americans to play football in an environment free of discrimination. The Toronto Argonauts currently operate a platform for anti-bullying efforts and ensuring that youth know that the CFL is a platform for strong Canadian values.
Every fall, the Grey Cup is hosted in a different city each year in Canada and is known outside of the country as our version of the “Super Bowl” as represented in the media. The showcasing of the Grey Cup to a worldwide audience has the ability to represent Canadian patriotism, an idea that we as Canadians hold deeply.
We see true Canadiana every year at the Grey Cup with the Mounties in full uniform. No other sports league invites Canada’s treasured police force to present their trophy. Every time the trophy is handed off, every Canadian should be in awe of how unique and how special our country is.
At the Grey Cup this year, support for Canada’s vital oil and gas industry was on display by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Statements such as these are not seen anywhere else, but on the only stage where true Canadian spirit is showcased.
The acceptance of all athletes and personnel, regardless of race or creed, in the world of sports goes beyond the need for players or a full roster card. It speaks to the fact that Canada is a diverse nation and will always be accepting of any individual without regard to their nationality or ethnicity.
Football is seen as a symbol of homegrown Canadian professional sports with multiple meanings beyond the sport. Canadian universities outnumber American universities in regards to draft numbers and have special Canadian-only selections. There is always a particular emphasis on Canadian talent on every squad.
There are also basic differences between the CFL and the NFL, such as in scoring, ball size, field size. To many, the CFL style of football is like watching an entirely different version of football compared to watching the more hyped NFL-style football.
The CFL is largely seen as a league of diversity, of common values and goals, and a particular Canadian national pride. Those characteristics define in part what being a Canadian stands for.
There is no other major sports league in Canada that is solely Canadian and prides itself on being so. The league may not receive the highest of ratings, but it is the one league we know that is ours and ours alone.
Just watch a game for yourself to feel the heritage while watching. It is a feeling you cannot experience when watching any other sports league. It is the only league that has the word “Canadian” in it.
The past history of the CFL has definitely shaped the way we see its current formation.
The big-name ownership of the Argos (including Wayne Gretzky and John Candy) certainly catapulted the CFL into the much-needed spotlight by the early 1990s. Then a failed experiment in the mid-1990s led to expansion in multiple areas of the United States for a three-year duration; seven teams came and went.
It was this defining moment, where the league realized that they were not an international brand, but that they were Canada’s league, and needed to ensure the country gets behind the league to truly make it something special. It should be known that the commissioner of the league from 1996 to 2000 was John Tory, Toronto’s current mayor. Tory played a big part in saving the league entirely.
There is no doubt that the CFL will continue to display signs of strong Canadian values and culture, showcasing the uniqueness of Canada, and represents a one-of-a-kind point of view of how Canadians view professional sports, being Canada’s sole nationwide major professional sports league.
The CFL defines and moves us Canadians. No other sports league can do this in the ever-changing climate of professional sports.
Bill Peters has resigned as the head coach of the NHL’s Calgary Flames after former player, Akim Aliu, accused him on racism on social media, according to Sportsnet.
The Calgary Flames’s general manager, Brad Treliving, made these comments during a press conference. During this, he also stated that Geoff Ward would take over as the interim coach.
Aliu accused Peters on Twitter of directing a racial slur towards the player “several times” when they were both in the AHL. Peters was Aliu’s coach during his time at the Rockford IceHogs.
After Aliu’s tweets, Peter’s released an apology, although he did not direct it specifically to Aliu.
Canadians like to think of ourselves as living in a sovereign nation, to the extent that we are in control of our own destiny and make our own decisions.
However, that has become increasingly doubtful.
An important aspect—probably the MOST important aspect—of being a sovereign country is having the ability to defend your own nation.
If you don’t have that, nothing else really matters.
For a country like Canada, having a strongly-equipped armed forces wouldn’t really be much of a challenge, considering our high relative wealth and high level of technology.
And yet, our armed forces are in a state of disrepair.
We have pilot shortages, we have recruitment problems, our air force is flying 40-year-old leftover planes other countries don’t want, our navy is miniscule, and the strategically valuable north is practically undefended.
In short, Canada lacks the ability to defend ourselves, placing the burden of defending our own citizens on our ally, the United States.
The issue is that it’s both unfair to the United States, and unfair to Canadian Citizens for our government to outsource our national defence.
It’s unfair to the U.S. because we should be pulling our own weight in our alliance with them, not putting it all on their shoulders.
And it’s unfair to Canadian Citizens because our own country is put at risk by being reliant on others to do the job we should be doing ourselves.
Unfortunately, Canada’s political establishment is unwilling to take any of this seriously.
In a dangerous world, Canada’s politicians continue to ignore the defence of our nation, just hoping that things will magically “work out” and we will never be faced with any real danger.
Of course, the world doesn’t work like that. The world is becoming increasingly dangerous, with China and Russia building up their arctic forces, and China’s military expanding at an alarming rate.
In that threatening environment, hoping for the best could lead to total disaster for Canada.
That’s why we need to start seeing this as the crisis it really is. The weakness of our armed forces is becoming a bigger and bigger threat to the future of Canada, and that threat must be addressed now.
For that reason, building up our military must take precedence over balancing the budget.
It’s a simple political reality that any party that proposed making big cuts to social spending in order to build up the military would be destroyed in an election campaign. There simply isn’t any appetite for that trade-off. So, that leaves deficit spending as the only politically-feasible path to building up our armed forces.
Considering that the budget deficit is at about $20 billion, considering that we spend roughly $25 billion on our armed forces today and that doubling that number would be a huge boost to our national defence, we would be looking at deficits of roughly $45 billion if we immediately embarked on a military build-up, while keeping other spending on the current trajectory.
$45 billion is a large deficit, but it is smaller than the deficits run by the Harper government during a portion of the 2008 financial crisis aftermath.
Additionally, much of that increased deficit would be going towards wages for more members of the armed forces, military-focused research and development at Canadian universities, and a huge surge in domestic manufacturing, all of which would strengthen our domestic economy, boost GDP, and make it easier to balance the budget down the road as the economic benefits spread throughout the nation.
The final point is this: It’s usually a bad idea to run budget deficits, but there are exceptions. And the crisis facing our nation due to our inability to protect our own territory is one of those exceptions. Canada needs a military build-up, and we need it now. And if that means running bigger deficits for a while, then that’s a price we must be willing to pay to ensure our nation is secure.