Walt has it on good authority [the so-called National Post, actually. Ed.] that Canada's quasi-Conservative government is actually getting serious about finding an alternative to the sorely troubled F-35 fighter jet by asking rival manufacturers for information about the cost and availability of their planes.
Rona Ambrose, currently being rehabilitated as minister responsible for defence procurement -- could we call her the chief procuress? -- is going to ask Boeing, makers of something called the Superhornet, and the consortium that makes the Eurofighter Typhoon, what their prices are and how soon they can have something painted with maple leafs... Errr, maple leaves. Whichever is red, not blue.
Just looking, you understand. The pricing and availability information request falls short of a formal tender but government sources said the "market analysis" will send a signal to voters and industry that it is taking seriously the Auditor-General's spring report that was heavily critical of the F-35 procurement process.
Today Walt can reveal that real anger seethes inside the icy exterior of Canadian Prime Minister Harpoon. In the middle of the night, a Canuck agent -- we won't even give his number -- has slipped under Walt's cabin door a brown envelope marked "Top Secret Restricted & Confidential". Here's what was inside.