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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Politics of Procurement

Military Acquisition in Canada and the Sea King Helicopter

In 1993, Canada’s Liberal Party cancelled an order to replace the navy’s Sea King helicopter. It claimed that the Tory plan was too expensive, but the cancellation itself actually cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Aaron Plamondon connects this incident to the larger evolution of defence procurement in Canada, revealing that partisan politics, rather than a desire to increase the military’s capabilities, have driven the military procurement process. This saga of the government playing havoc with weapons acquisition offers an explanation for, and clues for resolving, the under-equipped state of Canada’s military.

288 pages

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Canadian Defence Procurement System

1 Procurement in Canada: A Brief History

2 Early Helicopter Operations: The Exploration of a New Capability

3 The Procurement of the Sea King: Slow but Solid

4 The Sea King in Canada: Time Is the Enemy of Us All

5 The New Shipborne Aircraft Project: A Commitment to Replace the Fleet

6 The Vulnerability of the NSA: Political Parrying

7 The 1993 NSA Cancellation: Money for Nothing

8 The 1994 White Paper and the New Statement of Requirement: The Ghost of Procurements Past

9 The Maritime Helicopter Project: Procuring on Eggshells

10 The Cyclone Decision: Caveat Emptor



Selected Bibliography


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