In 2007, NDP researchers asked for and received the year-by-year spending estimates stretching out to 2050 that the military has for all of its new weapons programs, infrastructure and equipment. But Defence Department censors blacked out the annual spending estimates when the NDP asked for an updated version.
And David Akin has a good idea of what's going on here:
Since taking office in 2006, the Conservatives have committed to spending $240 billion over the next 20 years on new equipment for the Canadian Forces.
Those spending commitments are at the heart of one of the Conservative government's most important narratives, that they are finally re-building a military that had been neglected by previous Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments. That narrative is more political rhetoric than political fact. In fact, the three biggest year-over-year percentage increases in military spending in the last decade were made by the Liberal governments of Jean Chretien and Paul Martin.
But, you know, AdScam and such. And what's behind it all? What's motivating the sudden secrecy around defence spending? I think Akin may have an idea:
In any event, the Conservative political rhetoric on military spending is now in conflict with a political imperative that is taking on new importance for the Conservatives: fighting the deficit.
Sounds about right to me. So the conservative governance model is once again proven right:
1. Cut taxes
2. Cut taxes
Result: More money for everyone!
Now, it could be that the spending changes are being "recalibrated" -- whatever that means -- in preparation for the next couple of years, when our international commitments will nosedive to almost nothing. But this government doesn't seem to think that mere opposition MPs, let alone mere members of the public, ought to get a say in any of that.