The c-word - Macleans.ca

The c-word

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Yesterday’s exchange between Messrs. Mulcair and Harper was the highlight of the afternoon, but with his first question Bob Rae returned to this question of what Mr. Harper meant when he discussed the F-35 and a “contract” in relation to one another.

Bob Rae: Mr. Speaker, on November 17, 2010, the Prime Minister accused the then-leader of the opposition of “…wanting to tear up jobs by tearing up the contract.” He implies there, and clearly states that there was in fact a contract with respect to the F-35. It is a statement the Prime Minister repeated again during the election campaign. If there was in fact no contract, which is what the Prime Minister is now saying, and he is saying there is in fact still no contract, why did the Prime Minister mislead the House on November 17, 2010?

Stephen Harper: Mr. Speaker, of course I did no such thing. I think Canadians and the industry understand full well that Canada’s participation in the development of the F-35, of the next generation of fighter aircraft, is intrinsic to the work that Canadian companies have received. It is almost $0.5 billion in contracts that have come to the industry in this country. Obviously this government will continue to support our air force, as well as our aerospace industry.

Here is the full context of what the Prime Minister said a year and a half ago. He has already explained to the interim Liberal leader that when he said “contract,” he was referring to a “memorandum of understanding.”

See previously: The amazing, disappearing contract that never was and About that “contract”