Canadians have a basic RIGHT to know the true cost of expenditures, particularly massive ones, like the biggest military procurement in our history. Anyone who follows the F-35 story has been frustrated with what amounts to a misinformation campaign from the Conservatives. This government simply makes up figures, experts can’t verify their assertions, updated costs are never incorporated, INDEPENDENT analysis dismissed, only empty counters meant to confuse the electorate and neutralize the issue.
Today, we learn that Japan will pay 114 million per F-35 fighter jet, a FAR cry more than the 75 million figure the Conservatives have argued, based on objectively outdated estimates. Hardly surprising, in fact American experts warned Canada that the cost would be just what Japan paid, going back to last April, when this issue received sporadic attention. Faced with a mountain of evidence that the 9 billion dollar price tag the government had clung to was BOGUS, we then heard about special deals, Harper even said he had some letter which made us immune to cost overrun consideration(amazing, given the host country America had already foreseen HIGHER costs, Harper actually posited Canada had a better deal than the Americans themselves). The Conservatives simply made it up on the fly, desperate to get the issue off the front page and per usual, their fog of conflicting talking points won the day, everyone moved on, a certain deceit validated.
Last week, Fantino floated the notion that Canada might trim the number of planes we will actually purchase. Interesting, given the military have asserted the 65 plane purchase is the “bare minimum” number to defend the country. Are the Conservatives FINALLY admitting a cost overrun, which will translate to an ineffective military force? Are we actually on a path where we pay billions and billions for a plane that won’t even meet “minimum” requirements? A boondoggle that doesn’t even do the job?
The way this F-35 issue has been handled by the government denotes complete incompetence, as well as wilful disregard for the truth, it’s that simple. That there is no evidence to date of any true accountability is disappointing, but hardly surprising given Harper’s Ottawa. This plane isn’t just stealth, the truth around it is also undetectable.