Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan speaks in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Sept. 19, 2016. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)Three of the 13 recommendations contained in the final report deal specifically with replacing the Royal Canadian Air Force's aging fleet of CF-18 fighter jets, including one calling on the government to decide on a replacement "within the next 12 months."
BMD debate ahead?The report also calls on the government to "reconsider Canada's position with regard to ballistic missile defence (BMD) in the context of Canada's defence priorities and limited financial resources."
Report reflects Liberal agenda, opposition saysConservative committee members alleged the final report simply reflects the Liberal government's political agenda with regards to defence, a charge echoed by the NDP. "The committee report marshals evidence to bolster the Liberal decision to sole-source the purchase of Super Hornets, their desire to reposition Canada's current fighter jets, and their attempt to justify participation in the U.S. missile defence program," the NDP wrote. The Liberals have said they need to replace the CF-18s quickly to avoid a shortage of aircraft. Opposition parties, however, have accused the government of manufacturing a crisis to justify buying a fighter jet other than the F-35 without a competition. The report released Monday is the second in as many years from the Commons' defence committee dealing with defending North America. The first, published in June 2015, received unanimous approval from all committee members.
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