The Conservative government will hit the “reset the button” on the F-35 jets purchase and restart the process with a new team in charge of the file, according to an unnamed source quoted by the Globe and Mail. The move comes just a couple of days after an Auditor General report hit hard on the Harper government for its handling of the fighter jet purchase, saying the National Defence Department manipulated the process, low-balled the planes’ costs and hid information from Parliament.
After the scathing report was tabled, the Government spent Wednesday dodging fire from the opposition in Parliament, which is expected to continue Thursday. The leader of the opposition, Thomas Mulcair, stopped short of calling for the Defence Minister Peter MacKay to resign while Liberal leader Bob Rae called for an outright resignation from the Prime Minister himself. Rae took aim at Harper for being a known micro-manager saying the Prime Minister couldn’t pretend at this point “he was just the piano player in the brothel who didn’t have a clue as to what was really going on upstairs.” Clearly struggling for time in the limelight since Mulcair’s election to the NDP leadership, the leader of the Liberals also took a jab at Mulcair, calling the NDP leader a “mini-Harper.” Rae’s attacks come as a Canadian Press Harris Decima poll shows that since Mulcair’s election, NDP support sits at a statistical tie with the Conservatives—32 and 34 per cent respectively—while the Liberals trail in third place with 19 per cent.