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The rhetoric behind the F-35


 

Peter MacKay, September 15, 2010. “This is the right plane. This is the right number. This is the right aircraft for our Canadian forces and for Canada,” he said. “If we don’t make this purchase there is a real danger we’ll be unable to defend our airspace, unable to exercise our sovereignty or unable to share our responsibility to both NORAD and NATO.”

Peter MacKay, December 13, 2010Mr. Speaker, let us look at the actual contract. What the Canadian government has committed to is a $9 billion contract for the acquisition of 65 fifth generation aircraft.

Stephen Harper, January 14, 2011“I do find it disappointing, I find it sad, that some in Parliament are backtracking on the F-35 and some are talking openly about cancelling the contract, should they get the chance,” Harper said at the Heroux-Devtek plant in Dorval.

Stephen Harper, January 14, 2011“I need your help making MPs from this region and elsewhere in Canada listen to reason,” Mr. Harper told workers at Héroux-Devtec, which is manufacturing door and wing parts for the F-35. “Honestly, I can’t understand how a Liberal MP from the Montreal region would want to cancel this contract. It’s unbelievable.”

Stephen Harper, January 14, 2011“Contracts like this are not a political game,” Harper said, speaking from a blue podium with government Action Plan slogans perched in front of him and behind him. “It is about lives and, as you well know, it is about jobs.”

Peter MacKay, February 25, 2011. “Many figures have been circulated on the cost,” the minister said in a speech Friday before the Conference of Defence Associations. “Let me repeat it. $9 billion. I have no idea where these other figures are coming from. They’re simply made up — or they’re guessing. If this procurement is cancelled … so another competition can be held, it will cost taxpayers $1 billion and will create an operational gap for the air force in the future.”

Stephen Harper, March 10, 2011. Mr. Harper told reporters on Thursday that he refused to “get into a lengthy debate in numbers.” “This is the option that was selected some time ago, because it is the only option available,” he said. “…This is the only fighter available that serves the purposes that our air force needs.”

Stephen Harper, April 8, 2011.  “You have to understand that in terms of the F-35 costs, we’ve been very detailed with those to the Canadian public,” Harper said after releasing the Conservative platform in Mississauga, Ont. “A lot of the developmental costs you’re reading in the United States, the contract we’ve signed shelters us from any increase in those kinds of costs. We’re very confident of our cost estimates and we have built in some latitude, some contingency in any case. So we are very confident we are within those measures.”

Julian Fantino, November 9, 2011. “We will purchase the F-35,” Fantino asserted. “We’re on record. We’re part of the crusade. We’re not backing down.”

Julian Fantino, November 18, 2011“There’s a plan A, there’s a plan B, there’s a plan C, there’s a plan Z and they’re all F-35s,” he said.

Julian Fantino, March 13, 2012. “But we have not as yet discounted the possibility, of course, [of] backing out of the program,” he told MPs. “None of the partners have … And we’ll just have to think it through further as time goes on. But we are confident that we will not leave Canada or our men and women in uniform in the lurch.”

Stephen Harper, March 14, 2012Mr. Speaker, this is a matter of public record. At the time, I was referring to a memorandum of understanding. It has not been a secret that the government has not signed a contract.

Stephen Harper, March 16, 2012Obviously at some point, the [CF-18] planes will reach the end of their useful life. At some point we will have to make a final decision, but obviously we have not signed a contract so that we can retain our flexibility in terms of ensuring the best deal for taxpayers.


 

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