On the Great Canadian Fighter Jet

Arrow wreck - OEX Recovery Group.jpg

Our national broadcaster is this morning reporting that executives from the private Canadian defence contractor CAE are "upset" because the federal government is negotiating the purchase of 18 Super Hornet fighter jets from the U.S. firm Boeing. Buying American planes "severely limits direct benefits to Canadian companies," CAE officials are quotes as saying.

Meanwhile, in the depths Lake Ontario, just off Prince Edward County, one of several ⅛-scale models of the Avro Arrow was exhumed yesterday, alongside decades of accumulated mythology about the ostensibly state-of-the-art fighter scrapped by the scoundrel Diefenbaker in 1959. According to Erin Gregory, assistant curator at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the Arrow program reflected "Canadian ingenuity," while the recovered test model, shown above, "speaks to the science, technology and engineering that went into the production of the greatest plane that never was."

In the era of President Trump's trade threats and NATO harangues, it is fitting and proper that Canadians should want to develop their own defence capabilities. But let us not continue to pine for the great Canadian-made fighter jet that will one day make us feel like a real country.