We're again dealing with the problem of Peter Mackay's math. Yesterday, the Department of National Defence revealed that the "instrumental costs" of the mission to Libya were $106 million. Postmedia reports that:
The $100-million figure stood in stark contrast to comments made by MacKay to CBC in late October, when he told Canadians the incremental costs were less than $50 million — which he noted was about $10 million less than the Defence Department had predicted.
But this time the folks at DND will not be made the fall guys. When asked whether or not Mackay knew the real costs of the mission, the department was unequivocal:
"He knew the estimates, for sure," Maj.-Gen. Jon Vance said. "In fact, he presents the estimates to cabinet. So yes, the minister would have known what the all-up estimated costs of the mission could be."
We have a government which is doing its best to get rid of the auditors in government departments.We are told this is happening because we can't afford them. But every time Peter MacKay opens his mouth, it becomes absolutely clear why we need those auditors.
The Harper government -- headed by a trained economist -- can't add or subtract. Or, more precisely, it chooses not to do so. And it claims that competent fiscal management is its hallmark.