For whatever reason, Chris Alexander, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of defence, has been assigned the task of going on television to face questions about the F-35 on behalf of the government. This did not go very well for Mr. Alexander in August. And this did not go terribly well for Mr. Alexander on Friday. But he seemed to do a bit better on CTV’s Question Period on Sunday. At the very least, he seemed to concede some government responsibility for the pre-April 2012 impression that a decision had been made to purchase the F-35.
There were various statements in the past that amounted to commitments intentions. The situation has changed. Cost outlook has changed. The auditor general came out with a report that we had to take very seriously, earlier this year. And we accepted his recommendation. And we put in place a seven-point plan to get us to the point where a decision can be made, not just with regard to one option, but with regard to all the options, on the basis of verified costs.