General overview of Canadas history with aircraft carriers while not WW2 related it does have its roots in WW2
This popped up on my YouTube home page the other day, but I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet. Most Canadians would be surprised to hear that we used to have aircraft carriers … but then again, most Canadians would need reminding that we have a navy at all. Military history isn’t something Canadian schools like to teach and it’s not part of daily life for most of us.
This is so very true.
In at least three separate occasions there have been heavy discussions about building or purchasing various carriers and few Canucks even know about this debate.
In the 1980s there was a contentious debate when there were plans for Canada to build another carrier which is also why all the F18s we got were equipped with Carrier hooks. After much debate the carrier was quashed.
In 2015 it was suggested that Canada buy 3 helicopter carriers and again Debate was ribald and was finally quashed because of the cost to maintain. In spring 2023 it was once again brought up about the possibility of building or buying existing Helicopter carriers and yet again cost became a major issue and again debate died down.
If Canada ever decides to go helicopter carrier route we are pretty sure that Canadas procurement policy will be flawed as ever as the Federal Government is mired in political red tape and backstabbing.
There are two interlinked problems with the Canadian government and military procurement. First, of course, is that Canadians have been propagandized for two generations and more that Canada doesn’t fight wars, Canada keeps the peace. We’re all supposed to be so proud of our peacekeeping role with the UN, yet last time I checked there were 65 other nations doing more peacekeeping than Canada. Any time there’s a natural disaster, from wildfires to earthquakes to heavy snowfall (critics of Toronto will recognize that clue), the cry goes up to call in the army … unspoken but widely believed “because they’re not doing anything anyway”. Canadians don’t really appreciate the military … even when they’re wearing those damned blue helmets.
Second, and far more corrosive, is that on those rare occasions that the government’s hand is forced and it has to buy some significant military hardware, the very last priority is getting the best equipment to do the job. The first priority – always and at all times – is to ensure that as much of the work is done in Canada and tip-top concern is to ensure that the work is done in provinces or even individual constituencies that will help the government get re-elected. This means that the cost of any major piece of equipment will be much more expensive than if we bought “off the shelf” from an allied or friendly nation … often multiples above the base cost.
A third, but much less important issue is that the leadership of the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, and Royal Canadian Air Force want everything to be as customized as possible. Sometimes these specifications are good and valid – ensuring that the equipment will work in typical Canadian conditions from east to west to far north. More often, however, the over-specification is just gold-plating that does little to improve the utility of the equipment or the comfort or ease of use for the crews … but does ensure that the flag or general officer who signed off on the deal gets a lovely well-paid sinecure after retiring with the conglomerate that got the contract. (This is hardly a uniquely Canadian problem, as British and American militaries have identical issues … but Canada is so much smaller and it’s easier to see even when the legacy media choose not to report on it.)