Matt Gurney: Sorry Neil Young, Canada needs fighter jets and suggesting we don't is absurd


After first reading a letter signed by 100 prominent Canadians — David Suzuki, Neil Young, Elizabeth May, etc. — urging the federal government to skip spending tens of billions on fighter jets, I confess to a somewhat petty instinct: I wanted to mock it. And there’s certainly some stuff in there worthy of a bit of fun-poking. There’s a part where they note that fighter jets are “largely useless in responding to natural disasters, providing international humanitarian relief or in peacekeeping operations” and that they also won’t “protect us from a pandemic or the climate and other ecological crises.” Never send these signatories out to buy you a hammer. They’ll refuse on the grounds that hammers make terrible ice-cream scoops. […]

I don’t blame the signatories for their sticker shock. It’s a punch in the gut for sure. If anything, it’s worse than they know. (Don’t tell Mr. Young that our submarines are also running out of service life.) Unfortunately, as these signatories have started to realize and the rest of Canada will figure out shortly, we squandered an entire generation of unprecedented peace and prosperity, so convinced it would last forever that we never bothered getting even core national competencies right, as we’ve seen during this long era of COVID. Reality, alas, has intruded upon our pleasant national daydreams. And it’s going to cost us a fortune to get caught up in a damned hurry with where we are to have been all along.

Yep. Canada is quite good at forfeiting the responsibilities of the future for some pleasant words today.