Harper on the F-35

by Aaron Wherry

From the Prime Minister’s interview with Global, Mr. Harper’s explanation of the F-35 procurement.

Dawna Friesen: Let’s talk fighter jets for a moment.  I don’t want to go through all of the numbers because I think we’ve done that.  What I’m wondering is why wasn’t there more transparency about the full cost of the fighter jet program right from the beginning, and do you wish in retrospect that there had been?

Stephen Harper: Well I think we’ve been very clear about what the numbers are that we projected, which actually have been validated by the recent KPMG report. But what the Auditor General said in the spring was he looked at the process as it had gone to this point and let’s remember we’re very early in the process. We haven’t spent any money on acquiring the next generation of fighter jets, but he said that he thought that both the costs and the options analysis had not been as thorough as it should be. So, based on that, the government has reset those parts of the process and we’re going through that again.  As I say, I think the cost numbers from the KPMG report look in fact, identical to what the government has budgeted but they’ll also do an options analysis.  I think what happened here, I think it’s very easy to explain the process whether it’s right or wrong, is that you know, back in 1997, the previous government made a decision with an international … with its allies to be involved in an international consortium to actually develop the new fighter jet and to make sure that Canadian industry was part and parcel of the development of that airplane, as opposed to coming in after the fact and trying to get what we can an industrial and regional benefits.

Dawna Friesen: And so there would be Canadian jobs?

Stephen Harper: There would be Canadian jobs, a much more profound position of Canada in the worldwide supply chain for this aircraft. I think because of that, an assumption was just made all along the way that of course, if we’re developing this plane, this will be the plane we’re purchasing. It’s not an unreasonable assumption, but I think what the Auditor General pointed out is because of that, National Defence had not done as thorough an analysis as it should on some aspects of this, both the costs and options and that’s what we’re now doing.  And we will continue to do that. And we’ve been very clear; we’ve set up a multi-stage process. We set up some independent expert panels and we’ll go through this step by step to make sure we are making the right purchases. The CF-18, the current fighter jet fleet will start to reach the end of its life in the middle to end of this decade and we’ll make sure both that we have aircraft ready to go when we need that and also at the same time that Canada is involved in the development of next generation airplanes.

Colin Horgan reviews and footnotes the Prime Minister’s explanation. The Auditor General’s report on the F-35 is here.




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Harper on the F-35

  1. he lies, the media lets him, he continues uncontrolled.
    this turd should not even BE prime minister, the election was rigged.

  2. So to PM Harper, completely ignoring a question in question period and lowballing the estimate by 300% equals being “very clear.” Noted.

  3. In today’s feature, Stephen Harper plays the role of Bagdad Bob. The man is shameless.

    • Yes, because obviously nobody could actually be upset when our Prime Minister lies directly to our faces.

      • And what, exactly, was the lie directly to your face?

        • The price of the F-35, the contract that never existed and the that the F-35 is the best suited for Canada.

    • The only faux here is, Harper’s constant attempts to spin his BS, despite all the facts that have come to light, and his minions holding on to his BS, like it was the truth.

      • Ya, too bad the PM isn’t a reactionary fool who jumps at every media report. Cause that would be responsible leadership.

        • I wasn’t talking about the media, I was referring to the PBO, AG and the private companies report, all of which contradicted the main talking points pushed out by the Cons. We can’t even refuel the F-35 mid air and they have issues working in cold environments. Makes sense for a county as bug and as cold as Canada.

  4. Repost from Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize winner and former war
    correspondent for the New York Times) on Canada’s right-wing neocon Prime
    Minister Stephen Harper:

    Harper is a poster child for corporate malfeasance and
    corporate power, just sort of dismantling everything that’s good about Canada. So he’s the kind of species that rises to
    political power and is utterly subservient to corporate interests at the
    expense of the citizenry.

    Yeah, he’s a pretty venal figure.

    http://www.straight.com/article-732826/vancouver/chris-hedges-harper-venal-us-politics-totally-rigged

    .

  5. @Dawna Friesen…… If you were an RCAF pilot which fighter jet would you want to fly into battle in? The new modern stealthy F-35 or a vintage throw back fighter designed in the 1970′s and 1980′s such as the Boeing F-18, Eurofighter, the Rafale, or the Gripen? If you choose the later you must bare in mind that your fighter jet will more then likely get picked out of the sky by an air to air missle before you even see the enemy fighter on your radar. Politics and money aside those are the cold hard engineering facts and pounding the table and wishing it wasn’t so isn’t going to change that fact.

    • No one is arguing that we don’t need new planes.

    • There are other options, that haven’t even been considered.

      Not to mention, there’s already a group that says they can beat the F-35′s stealth, so what’s the point if the f-35′s stealth can be beaten?

      • If stealth was easy to beat all the major military aircraft manufacters and world powers wouldn’t be busy designing and building stealth aircraft now would they??? Talks cheap, show me the anti-stealth hardware !

        • So the F35 isn’t the only one we could buy that would provide stealth? Gee, that’s not what our government has been telling us.

          • @JanBC….. Actually the F-35 is the only production Stealth Fighter available for purcahse all the other Stealth Fighters are still in pre-production prototype form and will take a minimum of 10-12 years before production versions are available for sale. In fact if these fighters have any advanced avionics in them at all it will take a minum of ten years just to write the ten milion lines of computer code required to operate the aircraft systems.

        • Sure they would, because they get money out of doing it.

  6. At the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute’s “3DS Blog”:

    “If the RCAF Gets F-35s it Can’t Refuel Them–and They Couldn’t Make a Short Stop in Icy Conditions”
    http://www.cdfai.org/the3dsblog/?p=1715

    Mark
    Ottawa

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