The rhetoric behind the F-35

by Aaron Wherry

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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The rhetoric behind the F-35

  1. ‘ We’re part of the crusade’…..and therein lies their problem.

    • I noticed that one too- sweet mother of pearl, he actually used those words eh?

      Wow. Just wow.

  2. So many lies by this government on the F-35 file.  It is disgusting.  They have lost all credibility.

  3. I look forward to Peter Mackay’s resignation over his uncritical parroting of the false 9 billion number.  Responsibility and accountability are, after all, hallmarks of this Conservative government.

  4. “Honestly, I can’t understand how a Liberal MP from the Montreal region would want to cancel this contract. It’s unbelievable.” 

     “Contracts like this are not a political game,” Harper said 

    “Stephen Harper, March 16, 2012.  but obviously we have not signed a contract so that we can retain our flexibility in terms of ensuring the best deal for taxpayers.”

    I really hope one of our media gets to ask Mr. Harper why he told Canadians there was a contract a year ago and now admits that no contract ever existed.

    Would also love to hear the media’s opinion why they choose to let Harper lie to Canadians…

    never mind, it appears i found the answer:

    “Media have a false sense of objectivity.. as if there’s no such thing as the truth”

    • aw heck, it was just a political game

  5. The two faced lies of Harper, MacKay and Fantino sink to a new low. Do these people have no honour or integrity whatsoever? Or any commons sense to realize what a horrible, boondoggle purchase this is turning out to be? The F-35 is the worst Western designed plane in 40 years. Its single engine will kill Canadian pilots when it fails over the Arctic.

  6. The Australian government are also pursuing this farcical aircraft against all common sense. Canada and Australia both share huge land mass areas which would indicate that at the very least a twin engine long range aircraft be chosen. Additionally, the Russian SU35 has undergone significant flight testing which confirms its superiority to anything other than the F22 Raptor. Investing future hopes of the F35 extending air superiority to the US allies is going to be a very expensive mistake. 
    The entire fiasco has been to satisfy vested political and economic interests. Instead of developing and exporting the F22, the US has dumped it in favour of the inferior and equally expensive F35 which shows every sign of being a complete lemon. Why? To satisfy the egos of politicians. They are defending the F35 to the hilt of reason; unfortunately the F35 will have to defend itself against overwhelming odds in the event of a real conflict, not against media critics. 
    While Russia and China develop 5th generation stealth aircraft to rival the F22 the F35 program limps from one disastrous cost overrun to the next. The obstinate refusal of the US to export and develop the F22 to close allies is a mistake strategically and economically.

  7. Well spoken, Stoka.  There are alot of us down here that feel the decision to end Raptor production,which effectively ensured a major loss of capability in dealing with the threats that you mentioned and yanking export hopes for the short-term, was an insanely bad decision; and now, it has sealed the fate of supporters of the insane “all eggs in one basket” argument, the ones who are now running around pointing fingers, claiming ignorance, and all the usual excuses non-sensicals come up with.
    Sad… But the F-15SE, now THAT would seem to be IDEAl… $100 Mil a piece, twin engines, great range and firewpoer, AESA, digital avionics.. and since it doesn’t have top-end stealth ,there are lower maintenance, and its airframe delivers survivability that easily compensates; survivability that WOULD be useful for the threats the F-35 is likely to be looking on from the sidelines at.

  8. these people lie more than they tell the truth, its approaching cartoon levels.

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