When the military wants to buy a new item, they draw up a statement of requirements detailing the role and vision of the military in the future.
Put simply, a statement of requirements allows everyone to understand what the military wants, and it would be more obvious whether the F-35 fit the requirements of the Canadian Forces going forward.
"I think if the Conservatives wanted to give this procurement an aura of legitimacy, and not let people question it, or at least disarm the Liberals on it, they would have done far better having a very clear statement of requirements," said Philippe Lagassé, an assistant professor of public and international affairs at the University of Ottawa
Supporters argue the F-35 is the plane we need to suit Canada's military needs, and YET the document which articulates that "vision" is absent? To not disclosure is not only not the norm, it's unheard of:
Former assistant deputy minister for materiel Alan Williams, whose job it was to take these requirements, meet with industry and translate the military's needs into contracts, even goes so far as to say that he is unaware of any other major procurement project that has not produced a public statement of requirements.
Yet the government is refusing to release this document when it comes to replacing the CF-18, something experts say is strikingly odd at this stage in the game
Odd is right. We are left to speculate here, the fact there is resistance allows for imagination as to why? If this document provides the foundation for the government decision, one would think this PMO in particular would be quick to get it into the public domain:
"I don't know if you can sense how twisted that kind of approach is. It undermines everything, the whole integrity of the process," said Mr. Williams.
We know this government is a complete and utter fraud on the transparency front. However, we also know they are in the midst of a hard sales job on the F-35, going so far as to "fan" Ministers across Canada, a public relations blitz to sell, sell, sell. And yet, a document which experts could point to as proof of need is hidden, isn't used to promote the decision.
This whole affair makes no sense from here, and this secrecy should be raising red flags everywhere.