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Conservatives to re-think F-35 purchase in response to damning Auditor General report


 

For months, opposition parties in Ottawa have been slamming the Conservatives for their insistence that Canada must replace its aging fleet of CF-18 fighter jets with American-made, Pentagon-approved—and massively expensive—F-35s.

But now, as the Auditor General is slated to release a scathing report on the government’s handling of the fighter jet file, the Tories are expected to re-examine the purchase of 65 Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter jets. The CBC is reporting that Auditor General Michael Ferguson’s report will say that officials inside the Defence Department misled government ministers on information relating to the jets, and that a special team of deputy ministers will be set up to manage the procurement.

The government will also place a $9-billion spending cap on the purchase of new jets.

Opposition parties have accused the Conservatives of misleading Canadians about the costs associated with these jets. The Tories insist that each plane will cost $75 million, but estimates from the America military, which is also purchasing the F-35s, place the cost per plane at $135 million.

Quoting anonymous government sources, the Globe and Mail is reporting that the Conservatives aren’t looking to scrap the F-35 purchase, but are instead hoping to shift the acquisition schedule so that the planes can be bought during low-cost production years. They’re also looking at ways to ensure Canada’s existing fleet can last longer.


 
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Conservatives to re-think F-35 purchase in response to damning Auditor General report

  1. It wasn’t just the opposition parties. Some of us actual conservatives noticed the rising costs, the mismatch between mission and plane, the short range of a fighter that was supposed to operate on long-range missions, the lack of a competitive process, and the moronic talking points coming out of a few of the plane’s champions, too. 

    The decision to buy the F-35 at any price to suck up to some American lobbyists was the latest in a long-string of anti-conservative decisions by the conservatives. Reversing it isn’t a triumph for the opposition; it’s a triumph for actual conservative values.

    •  There’s conservative ideology and then there’s just not being dumb.  You’d be mistaken to think every example of the second illustrates the first.

  2. Apparently Ferguson’s lack of French didn’t interfere with his doing his job.

  3. Well, if Harper wanted to get rid of his defence minister, nows the time. McKay and Fantino should be dismissed along with the CDS and the senior air force general. I do not beleive for a moment that they did not know what was going on…what a fiasco.

  4. Building a state-of-the-art fighter jet could do wonders for Canada’s aerospace industry, but remember the Avro Arrow. Once the government killed that programme back in the 1950s because of escalating costs, some of Canada’s best aerospace engineers ended up working for the Apollo space programme. 

  5. We don’t need F35s at any price. There is no military requirement for them. We should not burden our children and grandchildren by making them pay for this colossal waste!
    Ask  yourself to imagine a credible scenario that could arise and be countered by 65 F35s or, for that matter, fighter aircraft of any type. I doubt if you can come up with a realistic scenario.
    The interception of the odd Russian aircraft just outside our territorial borders has been going on since the 70s. The intercepts were done with CF101s and now with CF18s. The Russian aircraft presented no threat then and they present no threat now. An all out attack would be insane and involve ICBMs. No role for the F35. 
    Further, why would we, in support of NATO, be buying an aircraft capable of attacking third world nations. That makes no sense to me. Do Canadians want to be a part of that organization? I think not!Further, if an airliner approaching any major airport in the world turns rogue it would be on its intended target before any meaningful action could be taken to stop it. No role for fighter aircraft. In this case we must simply be ready to pick up the pieces that such an insane action would cause.

    Many countries get by without fighter type aircraft. We cannot defend ourselves against an insane all out massive air attack. No matter, that is not going to happen. Those who covet our resources are buying them! No role here for fighter type aircraft.

    Notwithstanding the foregoing, a few token fighter aircraft for use at air shows are always impressive. What a waste!

    As I see it, the real threat to our sovereignty is an economic threat. The Russians, Chinese and the USA want and need our resources. It is not in their interest to bomb us. Rather, they are buying our country.

    For our part, the threat is that unaffordable actions by our government will bankrupt our country and compromise our ability to do what is necessary to defend against the real threat. To defend our “sovereignty” we need to counter the economic threat to our Arctic, protect our coastal fisheries, deal with internal unrest, root out terrorist cells, and, most importantly, keep our country financially viable. No role here for the F35.

    In support of our most important ally and neighbour to the south, since we are not a super power, we must ensure that they are never threatened by activities that occur or originate in this country. That will allow them to handle “the big stuff”. They always have. To say otherwise is to be kidding ourselves about our own importance.

    On this issue one must truly think “outside the box”.

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