There are some who say the F-35 is all about capability, and giving the air force the plan it needs to bomb the crap out of China or Russia. There is something to be said for that argument, but now is not the time to make it because with roughly four million of the estimated 10 million lines of software which power this jet have yet to be written. How do we know this toy will work as advertised?
As a general rule I find it's hard to get overly outraged when the scandalousness in question is the result of a) politicians lying, b) politicians wasting money, or c) politicians lying about wasting money.Lucky we have lots of pundits who are great at filling holes!
We now live in a world where a government can turn on its own parliament, deny it the proper accounting assessments necessary for the approval of mega-expensive items like the F-35 jet, and proceed as if the need for the Canadian people to have a proper accounting for such expenditures (the largest military procurement in Canadian history) is not of prime importance.
The F-35s are single engine planes. Asked what will happen if the engine fails, Peter MacKay replied, "It won't." We need planes for search and rescue. The F-35 is not appropriate for search and rescue.
In light of the unprecedented incompetence exposed by the Auditor General on the F-35 procurement scandal, the swirl of parliamentary and media attention surrounding the other simmering scandal of fraudulent robocols has died down somewhat. But the issue will not go away because a fraud occurred and Canadians must find out what happened.
The F-35 scandal has shown how the Prime Minister and senior government officials are very reluctant to penalize anyone, especially themselves. The good government watchdog agencies must all be given the power to penalize wrongdoers with high fines -- to bite not just bark.
The DND released information on the total cost of the program but failed to include billions of dollars in long term costs, a significant item. Who made the decision to release inadequate information? Did no one object internally? When the minister used these released figures, did no one in the department red flag it for the minister to say the number was not completely accurate?