There has been a flurry of cost figures for the F-35, ranging from the government's unwavering figure of $9 billion all the way to $45.8 billion dollars. First the government wants this plane, then they didn't, and now they do again. Canadians are being played for suckers in this little game of procurement bingo that the Harper Cabinet is playing.
If a producer was to consider making a feature film about the F-35 procurement process she or he might, given the events over the past few years either go with one of two genres: Max Senate and the Keystone cops, or Federico Fellini for something a bit more surreal. Somewhere between those two extremes lies, I would think, the reality of the storyline.
The plan to buy the F-35 fighter jet has faced controversy from the beginning, and now the federal government may just nix
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is making a trip to New York this week, but it isn't to attend a United Nations meeting to which Canada was extended an invitation. The Prime Minister will instead be in the glitzy hotel, where he is due to receive an award from the little-known Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an interfaith partnership of corporate and religious leaders. Between the successive fossil awards for environmental savagery and the unfortunate de-funding of reproductive health in foreign aid, the Harper government continues to slide Canada's international influence down to the gutter.
The Lockheed-Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, where Canada’s F-35 jets are being manufactured, is gigantic. You need a
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?
Stephen Harper has a new fan in The Dictator's Admiral General Aladeen. Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, jokingly portraying Admiral
Lies and miscalculations rule the day in Canadian politics and we don't seem too bothered. Who needs data, facts, or expertise to make hundreds of billions worth of decisions? Since lies seem to work, politicians scatter them liberally. Candidates spew promises they have no intention or clue how to keep. We are repeatedly shocked to see them broken.
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.