Monday, January 30, 2006

When the Headline Doesn't Sound Right... the story:

Conservatives could face a $1-billion legal penalty

Stephen Harper's new government could face a $1-billion legal penalty after a European aerospace firm filed a claim for damages, citing political interference by the Liberals during the 2004 purchase of naval helicopters.

Is anybody else slightly worried about the nature of that headline? Doesn't it make it sound like the Conservatives did something wrong?

Bad editorial decisions aside for the moment.

In a nutshell, the story says that the new helicopters that Chr├ętien's Liberals cancelled in 1993 are the ones the Canadian military had again selected as its preferred choice, until "the government [allegedly] reduced the performance criteria" to exclude the EH-101 from possible selection.

So now Agusta-Westland, the maker of the chopper, is suing the people of Canada for $1,001,000,000 in damages and punitive damages.

I think Agusta-Westland is really just looking to scare the new Tory government into re-opening the bid.

Everybody who thinks the Tories need motivation in that direction, say "Aye!"

[cricket chirping]

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