As if Harper doesn't have enough with the CF-35s
The LAV III light armored vehicle (top) and the German Leopard II tank
This time it's just a piddling little $ 2 billion scandal. For Stephen Harper's government a $2 billion scandal is peanuts.
But it could burn Defence Minister Peter MacKay.
He has to answer to charges that somebody in his department might have been involved in a little bid-rigging inthe purchase $ 2 billion of 138 light armored vehicles.
Three bidders were selected - the giant French arms maker, Nexter; General Dynamics Land Systems and BAE / Hagglunds. The whisper is that all three firms failed military tests set by National Defence.
Is this true, or is it baseless gossip military?
Or did someone set up the tests in such a way they would all fail, and somebody else would have to be called in?
Harper is upset. The last thing he needs after the CF-35 fighter jets fiasco is another military scandal.
Harper was so worked when he heard about the light armored vehicles flim-flam that he took the whole thing out Peter MacKay's hands and gave it to the Minister of Public Works, Rona Ambrose, to decide.
She may not be the sharpest tool in cabinet but she does have a reputation for honesty. She's already in charge of trying to clean up the CF-35 fight jets scandal.
Trouble is the military are very fond of their Peter MacKay and they don't take too kindly with Ambrose taking over.
Wait until they realize their precious "light armored vehicles" will be chosen by the same people who buy soap and wet mops to for government office floors!
MacKay and Ambrose no longer speak to each other.
MacKay must be wonder what he's doing in this crazy government rather than comfortably ensconced in a Toronto law firm in Toronto.
MacKay was in Toronto last fall visiting a law firm.
Harper is preparing a cabinet shuffle in June. That would be a great time for MacKay to contemplate his future.