Saturday, April 14, 2012

The F-35 Boondoggle

Many Canadians are angry that instead of the promised $16 billion cost of the new F-35s the actual price tag will be more than $25 billion but the public shouldn't forget that originally not only did this government continually claim the cost would only be $9 billion, Stephen Harper, Peter MacKay, Tony Clement, and other Conservatives claimed the jets would be even cheaper.

Quotes from the above video

On March 30, 2011 during the general election Stephen Harper:

"We’re buying these jets at a time when the production costs continue to fall. We have significant contingencies and all the information suggests we’re well within the cost estimates of these jets."
On July 16, 2010 announcing the F-35 agreement, Defense Minister Peter McKay:
It’s a situation right now that at 9 billion dollars we don’t anticipate that the cost per aircraft is going to go up... We will hold the company to this contract, the price will not expand. ...We’re very comfortable with the terms that have been entered into. We’re very confident that we will receive the best aircraft at the best price..... the 9 billion dollar cost is for 65 aircraft including all the onboard equipment and weapons systems... so thats the cost per air craft.”
On September 15, 2010 in front of the National Defense Committee, over two hours, Peter McKay:
"In fact as more companies buy this aircraft, and because we’re in the MOU, we will in fact see the potential for the cost of the aircraft to come down.... the potential cost of sustainment, as we’re in the global supply chain, could come down.... Because we’re part of that international global supply chain that allows us to get a preferred price and in fact benefit from future sales that could see the cost per aircraft come down."
On November 28, 2010 during a media scrum, Industry Minister Tony clement:
(Correcting a reporter) "Well first of all it’s 9 billion. Yeah but okay, how expensive is it to maintain CF18s right now? Alot more than it would cost to maintain F-35s that are brand spanking new. So there might actually be a cost saving on maintenance on the first couple decades of the contract. let’s be clear on what we’re talking about here, the actual order is for 9 billion dollars"
(Note: Tony Clement is clearly lying in this exchange. The video shows at 1:32 that just two months earlier Tony Clement was sitting beside Peter McKay while the Defense Minister reported the maintenance cost of the new F-35s would be comparable to that of the CF-18s and not cheaper)

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