Apparently, a 10 billion $ discrepancy in what the F-35 was estimated to cost is now trying to be sold as no big deal – just a minor thing, according to Defense Minister MacKay:
Defence Minister Peter MacKay admits he knew that buying F-35 fighters could cost $25 billion — billions of dollars more than Ottawa publicly acknowledged — but insists there was never any effort to mislead Canadians. After days of fierce criticism that defence department officials intentionally kept Parliament in the dark about the cost of the F-35s, MacKay went on the offensive Sunday, insisting that a $10 billion gap in the fighter budget was an accounting difference.
A lot of ink and writing has been spilled elsewhere over this scandal – one where the Conservative government of Canada and its Cabinet Ministers, and it’s Prime Minister has been found severely wanting by the Auditor-General on the true costs of the planes, the deliberate attempt to prevent multiple tenders, etc. The way the government presented these figures to the public is also under attack. Opposition to this project a year or 2 ago was branded just short of treason, and the government refused to provide true costing to the Parliament.
Indeed, this refusal was the primary reason the Conservatives fell on a non-confidence motion and found to be [...]
There are rumblings in some circles that the Conservatives are very close to ditching their commitment to buying the F-35 “Stealth” Fighter jet for the armed forces – due to burgeoning costs and so forth. Others aren’t so sure – you can see both sides of the argument in this Ottawa Citizen post here.
To be honest, I’m more inclined to believe Harper and company aren’t willing yet to ditch this increasingly apparent jet plane version of the Ford Edsel, and may still go ahead and but these anyhow, but I’ll say this: I’d find it extremely ironic after doggedly insisting while they had a minority government that the [...]
As pointed out over at Impolitical’s place, the Conservatives and their friends in the private aerospace industry sector have been trying very hard to try and convince Quebeckers that the potential purchase of these Stealth F-35 fighter jets (on a sole source contract) is very good for Quebec. Those efforts have so far met with a sceptical Quebec public; in polling, Quebeckers reject the F-35 as necessary by a ratio of more then 3 -1.
It will be interesting to see if the ROC follows Quebec’s lead (ROC stands for “Rest Of Canada”, in case you were wondering). There should be no reason why not; buying a fighter jet [...]
I hope the media doesn’t take these scaremongering press releases too seriously, and actually points out the obvious motive behind this, as the Globe’s Gloria Galloway is doing:
Members of the national press gallery awoke this morning to find a “read-out” from Dimitri Soudas, the Prime Minister’s director of communications, in their e-mail in-boxes that described what seemed to have been an aerial defence against the Russians. “On 24 August, two CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft were launched and visually identified 2 Russian aircraft, the TU-95 Bear, approximately 120 nautical miles north of Inuvik, Northwest Territories. At their closest point, the Russian aircraft were 30 nautical miles from Canadian soil….