Cabinet knew? -

Cabinet knew?


The Auditor General appeared before the public accounts committee this morning. Afterwards, he was pressed to specify who was aware of the defence department’s estimate that the F-35 would cost $25 billion.

“I can’t speak to individuals who knew it, but it was information that was prepared by National Defence,” Ferguson said Thursday, “and it’s certainly my understanding that that would have been information that, yes, the government would have had.”

 Ferguson was clear that by government, he was referring to the executive, namely cabinet and other members of the Conservative government, not the bureaucracy. “That $25 billion number was something I think that at that time was known to government,” he said. “It would have been primarily members of the executive, yes.”

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Cabinet knew?

  1. Time to audit the books of this cheating neo-con reformer so-called government.

  2. Well, there’s no good way out of this one…..either cabinet knew and lied to the country, or only Harper knew and lied to the cabinet.

    • I’m still wondering about Bev Oda and the “NOT” incident.

      OH wait. No i’m not. Nobody is. The country doesn’t care about this inside Ottawa, procedural nagging.

      •  Nope, I’m sure nobody in this country cares about Harper lying to Canadians about a multi-billion dollar boondoggle.

      • So, would it be procedural nagging if, say just for example, the cabinet knew Russia was planning a military exercise and coming very close to our border (which they informed us of and which we gave permission for) and then when it occurred cabinet declared Russia had instituted an “act of aggression” against Canada and we need to gear up for war?

        How about a scenario in which cabinet declared a free-trade deal with China where we had unfettered access to all of their citizens but had no limits placed on our own domestic policies (such as marketing boards) shortly before an election in 2015, discovered later to be a discussion on a free-trade deal that China laughed in our face over.

        Contaminated Water commented on as perfectly safe to drink? 

        I’m just trying to get a feel for any subject matter that you might object to having our government knowingly lie to us.

        • Something is going to cost more than the government said it does ?

          That happens every day.

          This whole thing is a wash. Nobody knows the real price!
          The plane hasn’t been built yet. No contract has been signed.

          We’re talking about deflating or inflating a projected cost based on whether you’re including repair estimates and whether your timeline extends out to 35 years.

          Did the government choose to minimize what the price is by ignoring the estimates of civil servants ? Yes. Sure.

          But until the money is actually spent then no, its not a boondoggle and no nothing has been done wrong.

          At this point its Bev Oda and the “not”. Its inside Ottawa. Nobody cares about this and frankly nobody should.

          • Because nobody should care if our government lies to us, is that what you’re saying?

            No money was spent because *they got caught*. Up until word that the AG was investigating it was all systems-go-go-go.

      • Is that your measure of morality? If so, please remember also that they are messing with YOUR money too…

        • Nothing has been spent yet. No contract has been signed. Nothing has been voted on.

          Harper has a majority. We fought an election, remember ? You guys lost.

          • So, they got caught in the lie before the money was spent, so no harm, no foul?

            You’re hilarious.

          • Nobody lied.

            Rona Ambrose was very clear that the figures did NOT include estimates for repair.

            The gov’t decided not to use D&D’s cost projections for repair on a 35 year timeline.

            Lets see – the plane hasn’t been designed or built yet but we’re suppose to know long term associated costs ??

            The gov’t was wise to use the top shelf numbers.

          • Nobody lied? So Mr. Harper never talked about backing out of a signed contract? Is that what you’re trying to say?

            I guess the real question is.. are *you* lying? 
            Or just ignorant?

      • That is a shameful reply.

        It’s like saying a crime is not a crime if you don’t get caught.

        You raise your kids with those morals?

        • It’s actually more like saying a crime isn’t a crime even if you do get caught, as long as it isn’t covered by Sun News.

          • Crimes require an actus reus.  What do you suggest is the actus reus of this crime?  Assuming you consider the crime to be fudging numbers, isn’t it relevant the numbers in question are months or years away from becoming known?  Persons who fudge unknown numbers may be stupid and persons who fudge unknown numbers, but proclaim they are, in fact, known when it’s clear they are unknown may be really stupid, but so too are the people who seek to hold the unknown number fudgers as being guilty of something other than stupidity.

          • To be fair, I said it was ‘like saying a crime isn’t a crime…’

            But if you want to play ball – the ‘actus reus’ in this case would be the act of lying to Parliament, which may be a breach of Parliament’s priveleges as affirmed in s. 4 of the Parliament of Canada Act as being part of the general law of Canada, and for which breach Parliament has the power to commit persons to prison. There’s also the act of lying to the electorate.

            These things may not be ‘criminal’ in the strictest sense, but they’re undoubtedly serious. It’s beyond ‘fudging the numbers’ – it’s deliberately or recklessly misleading taxpayers and their elected representatives with respect to billions of dollars.

          • We’re talking about lying to parliament, not actual  criminal charges- not yet anyway

          • So if I tell you the Toronto Maple Leafs will win 60 games in 2014/2015 and you find out later my sources told me they’d only win 50, but I told you they’d win 60 anyway, that’s an egregious offense, in your opinon?

          • Oh no they based their numbers on 20 year repair costs and not 36 !!!

            Oh no !

            Different actuaries come up with different projections depending on their input assumptions !! OH NO !!! GASP ! Sorry but no dice. Its not a lie. The gov’t clearly laid out the basis behind their numbers. What the figures did or did not include.You’re talking about someone who did not use best practices accounting but fully admitted that was the case because no figures were known yet because the plane doesn’t actually exist ! Good grief.

      • Lying about billions of dollars in future cost estimates that will affect budgets for, potentially, decades == “procedural nagging”

        Way to play for your team. Party before Country.

        • Nobody lied. No budget has been passed. No contract has been signed.

          Again, we’re in Bev Oda “not” territory here.

          • Well, two out of three ain’t bad.  It’s true no budget (allocating money for the F-35) has yet been passed.  And it’s true no contract has been signed (although for a year now the Cons have been trying to give the impression that it effectively has and the process is already irreversible).  I’m not sure what kind of defense it is to say “Well, you guys should all shut up because your insistence on not shutting up may still stop them from robbing you, so they didn’t really do anything wrong yet”.  It’s like saying there’s no excuse for resisting a burglar in your house because after all, they haven’t yet left the house with their sack of loot so it hasn’t actually been “stolen” yet.

            But both Stephen Harper and various members of cabinet lied repeatedly, and indeed lied repeatedly to parliament.  Actually, they’re still lying–“We didn’t know!  We were misled by the Defense department and none of us knew how to type ‘F-35’ into a Google search!”  Yeah, sure.
            Bev Oda also lied a whole bunch, so in that very limited sense we are in Bev Oda “not” territory here.

          • Nobody knows.

            The plane hasn’t even been designed yet.

            Ferguson is hitting them over the knuckles for not including cost ESTIMATES in the figures they provided.

            Rona Ambrose made it clear in her public statements that nobody knew what the true costs would be.

            That’s a true statement.

            The gov’t was wise not to use the cost estimates and just go with the up front costs.

          • ” It’s like saying there’s no excuse for resisting a burglar in your house because after all, they haven’t yet left the house with their sack of loot so it hasn’t actually been “stolen” yet. ”

            The major problem with your tidy little analogy is that the burglar is not only not in your house, he hasn’t even arrived on your street yet, notwithstanding which the home owner, having become aware he is blocks away and thereby having the ability to double lock the doors to keep him out, wants him arrested and thrown in the slammer anyway.

          •  And you want the robber to just…govern the country.

          •  But the fraudster is still fraudstering, regardless of your strange little quibbles.

      • Of course not.  It’s not like it involves orders of magnitude more money than Adscam, or anything.  Oh wait, it does.

        • Yeah except this is for an actual product that we will get.

          As opposed to money for nothing lining the pockets of Liberal hacks.

          • The product we are actually getting does not operate in the Arctic, nor can it be refueled in mid-air.

            Why are we buying this again?  Where exactly do we intend on flying it?

          • The product is still in the design stage and there’s three or more models available with different capabilities.

            Saying what the plane can and cannot do is beyond silly at this point.

          •  “Saying what the plane can and cannot do is beyond silly at this point. ”

            You need to alert the PM to that:

            “This is the only fighter available that serves the purposes that our air force needs.”

          • Debatable.  There’s certainly no actual product in existence yet, and it is to be hoped we won’t get it.  And adscam did produce some actual advertising, it was just overpriced because bagmen were taking cuts.  What other overpriced product is under discussion again?  Ohhh, yeah, it starts with “F” and ends with “35”.  And of course we know the US military procurement system would never, ever tolerate bagmen taking cuts, and the ridiculous cost of those jets has nothing at all to do with corruption, no sir, nuh uh.

            Meanwhile, you think no money is going to any Conservative and/or DnD hacks in all this?  Gosh are you naive.  Why do you think the DnD was all “we have to have the F-35 even if it’s useless” in the first place?  Sure, some of it was US-penis envy, but you can bet Lockheed Martin had some nice inducements going for compliant staffers.

          • Show me any proof of illicit payments to gov’t ‘crats and i’ll be first in line calling for them to be fired.

            But that’s pretty baseless speculation.

            And a defamatory statement against Lockheed Martin.

          • No kidding, we know it happens in the states, but we are to believe that influence peddling would never happen here. 

      •  I dare you party to run it’s next campaign on “hahahahaha look how much you Canadians don’t care about the bad stuff we do”

      • “The country doesn’t care about this inside Ottawa, procedural nagging.”

        Finally! An honest revelation of this government’s attitude toward the people it governs and its contempt for their democratic institutions.

        Thank you for the rare display of candor from a Con.

      • Con ethics on display.

      •  JD sings through the pain:

        It cost me a lot
        But there’s one thing that I’ve got
        It’s my Stephen
        It’s my Stephen

        I don’t know why I should
        He isn’t true
        He beats me, too
        What can I do?

        Oh, my Stephen, I love him so
        He’ll never know
        All my life is just despair
        But I don’t care
        When he takes me in his arms
        The world is bright
        All right

        What’s the difference if I say
        I’ll go away
        When I know I’ll come back
        On my knees someday

        For whatever my Stephen is
        I’m his forevermore

        • JD as Tammy Wynette.  We must be paying him a lot.

          •  Billie Holiday, actually.

          • He’s not much on looks,
            He’s no hero out of books….

            …where was I going with this again?

    •  I’d be curous to know if the Party Caucus knew at this stage… and before the election

      •  Dunno….they don’t seem to tell the rank-and-file anything in case somebody blurts out something embarrassing…..but it’s hard to know with this crowd.

        Lots of Con candidates didn’t show up for riding debates….so they might have known, and didn’t want to publically lie….plausible deniability and all that.

  3. Harper and company refuse to answer when they got the $25 billion number from DND. This will be stonewalled just as the Afghan prisoner issue was and there isn’t a honest Conservative in parliament with the spine to leak that information to the media.

  4.  The government will thank the AG and say he is merely mistaken. They knew nothing! Nothing!

    • The Sergeant Schultz defence!

  5. Nuff said.

    “The government has not acquired these aircraft, the government has not signed a contract, the government has frozen the funds for acquisition,” Harper said.

    Alexander said the government hasn’t spent the money on the jets yet and put the blame at the feet of the reporters asking him questions.
    “In the media, there has been a consistent effort to mislead people, to imply that money has been spent,” Alexander said. “It hasn’t yet.”

    •  Oh so now it’s the media’s fault for doing their job and informing the population before billions were squandered on a govt-promoted boondoggle?

      • Boondoggle only applies to things that are useless, like the gun registry.

        Fighter jets actually protect Canadians and save lives. There is actually a useful product at the end of all of this.

        And we’re talking about projections on a plane that hasn’t even been designed yet ! Let alone built ! Let alone a contract signed !

        This is literally the equivalent of saying that Jim Flaherty is a liar because he doesn’t use Kevin Page’s financial projections in his budgets.

        • Boondoggle
          A boondoggle is a project that is considered to waste time and money, yet is often continued due to extraneous policy motivations.


          The F-35 qualifies…..and give up on the ‘no money has been spent’ line.

          Plenty of money has been spent on studies, reports, fake budgets and advertising for the MOU….and it’s only pure luck and timing that the AGs report came out before a contract was signed.

          And even govt people have said the F-35 is still ‘on track’

          PS the F-35 won’t protect Canadians from anything.

          • Standing up for the men and women in uniform is never a boondoggle.

          •  Oh do stop with the nonsense….that’s precisely the argument the DND makes to get more goodies, and Cons fall for it.

          • Shorter @OriginalEmily1:disqus :

            Just disband the military already !

          •  @yahoo-K5XAITELSHKETDEDYIH6U5AF54:disqus

            I was in the military, bub.

          • @OriginalEmily1:disqus PC for 30 years too ! So nobody can accuse you of being left wing. Advises people on economics as part of your job ! So nobody can accuse you of not knowing what you’re talking about.

            And now in the military ! So nobody can accuse you of being anti-military.

            Right then.

          • That has been used so much it’s nothing but a joke at this point.

          •  @yahoo-K5XAITELSHKETDEDYIH6U5AF54:disqus

            Yes, in 65 years you can manage to do a lot of things.

          • You obviously haven’t read the definition of boondoggle graciously provided b OriginalEmily1 – from wiki:

            …The term “Boondoggle” may also be used to refer to protracted government or corporate projects involving large numbers of people and usually heavy expenditure, where at some point, the key operators, having realized that the project will never work, are still reluctant to bring this to the attention of their superiors. …

            Actually, the term boondoggle is most appropriate in this case.

          • Hiding behind them is something different.

          • It is if we spend waaaay more than necessary for some items, such that we can’t afford others. It is if we hit taxpayers up for costs far beyond what was necessary.

            It is also fraudulent to misrepresent intent (claiming costs will be much lower than they know it will be, in order to deflect the legitimate concerns of the voting public) and action (claiming, over and over again that they had a signed contract when they knew this to be a lie).

            So money aside, they have fraudulently misrepresented the infornmation they had and the status of the purchase itself. Fraud is fraud is fraud. You can nitpick over the cost all you want.

        • Seems like we have G&M posters on board today, lol!!!

          •  The Con Attack Team is on here and the G&M every day.

          • . . . as opposed to the Liberal Good Guys, whose sole motivation is truth, goodness and love of Canada.

          •  Is it?  Well you would know I suppose, PIp.

            Not being a Lib myself, I wouldn’t say that.

        • Tell me how a plane that you say hasn’t  been designed yet, is the only one that meets our requiremts?

          • Well, it worked for the Wright Brothers, how hard can it be?

          •  @JanBC:disqus

            ‘Well, it worked for the Wright Brothers, how hard can it be?’

            Chardonnay….on my keyboard!

      • Media playing to the uninformed masses.  All politics.

        •  Except the media was right…and so were the masses.

    • Alexander has been singing that song for 2 days now on P & P. Rather than answer any question posed he repeats this same line. It’s a rather pathetic performance.

      • He’ll be selling used cars with Dean Del Mastro when this over.  Sad to see someone like him sell his soul.

    • Thank goodness the AG investigated in time then.

      Tell you what, how about we shitcan the conservatives and just let the AG run the country?

  6. Relax everybody.  This is all highly dependent on what exactly is meant by “knew”. 
    For instance, in the King James version of the Old Testament to “know” means to have sexual relations with. 
    Maybe Cabinet only had sexual relations with the true cost of the F-35 program and enjoyed it so much that they then tried to “know” Parliament and “know” the Canadian taxpayer too.


      Comment of the day for sure!

  7. I’ve been following this issue for years now. Yes it’s been going on that long now. Anyone who says the government didn’t lie about the costs is…uh… lying! LOL

    I lost track of the number of times Ministers and MPs claimed on TV and radio that they had a contract with cost protection that would keep the price at $75 Million per plane.

    How is that not lying given that they don’t have any such contract??????

    This is the craziest denial I’ve ever seen.

    It’s like a little kid with a chocolate covered face claiming he doesn’t know who ate the easter treats! LOL

    • You obviously don’t care about the troops, and don’t try to deny it.

      • If I wasn’t so familiar with your positions I wouldn’t have caught the sarcasm. LOL

        I have to say though, for those of us with family in the forces, these issues are actually even more bothersome.

        The last thing we need is to tie military issues to a single party.

        Even if, god forbid, there was an NDP majority, we still need a healthy and viable military, so I’d prefer it if all bids were run independent of parliament.

        • “The last thing we need is to tie military issues to a single party”

          That is what is happening in the States right now – Obama wants to make big cuts to the military budget which will impact the JSF program.

          They are moving the goal posts on everyone participating.

          • With your proficiency at hunting for scapegoats OJ would appreciate you giving him a hand in his ongoing search.

          • That’s a lovely red herring you’ve got there. Watch for the skeleton though.. I’d hate for you to choke on it.

          • John McCain has called the whole thing a train wreck and thinks they should be looking at alternatives. 

          • I thought that’s what the government said they were going to do, in their official response to the AG report.

          • They’re calling the ‘new’ oversight body  the F 35 Secretariat, does that sound like there’s going to be a search for a Plan B. 

    •  Butk…but…true crimes require mens rea and some guys analogy up above was a little different AND SO HARPER IS INNOCENT!!!


  8. This is very much like a gang that plans a heist but doesn’t quite make it to the bank.

    They gased up the get away car, loaded the pistols, perused the floor plan, mapped out the escape route and even had a safehouse ready.

    On the way to the bank they get a speeding ticket and get caught with all their paraphernalia in car.

    Do they get off because they hadn’t actually robbed the bank yet?

    Seems the conservatives think so based on their stances here.

  9. So why aren’t the Aussies setting their hair on fire?

    Australia joined the international Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program in 2002 and is expected to acquire around 100 aircraft to replace its Hornets and F-111s from 2012. The JSF, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, is being developed as a fifth-generation, stealthy, multi-role fighter for the US and UK armed forces and allies.

    Joining the international JSF program enables Australia to access capability and technology a generation ahead of other contemporary aircraft. Involvement allows Australian industry to compete for JSF work, and provides opportunities to participate in the development, production and through-life support phases of the program. 

  10. The Conservatives motto at the moment must be taken from Blackadder goes Forth:
    “If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.” General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay “Insanity” Melchett

    • That is it – don’t anybody tell them Blackadder is satire. 

      • Actually, perhaps somebody should.