Barton: LET ME ASK YOU, THOUGH AS YOU KNOW, THE F35s HAS BEEN A BIG ISSUE IN THE U.S. AS WELL. PEOPLE ARE TRACKING IT VERY CLOSELY. DO YOU HAVE -- DOES THE GOVERNMENT HAVE A DOCUMENT, ANY SORT OF WRITTEN GUARANTEE FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT OR FROM LOCKHEED MARTIN THAT SAYS VERY CLEARLY THAT CANADA WILL BE PAYING NO MORE THAN 70 TO 75 MILLION PER PLANE? IS THERE A PRICE TAG ATTACHED TO IT AND DO YOU HAVE IT WRITTEN DOWN SOMEWHERE SO YOU WON'T GET CAUGHT LATER ON?
Hawn: NO. ROSEMARY, IT'S NOT A FIRM, FIXED PRICE. BUT EVERYTHING THAT WE HAVE LOOKED AT AND THE DEFENCE SECRETARY IN THE U.S. THE OTHER DAY, LAST WEEK, SAID THAT OUR AIRPLANE, THE F35(A), IS IN GOOD SHAPE...
Hawn goes on to tell us that the costs are in line, maybe even better! And yet, when asked the most basic of questions on cost, his response is the price is entirely up in the air, there is really no basis for their figures, apart for dated sales job figures from the vendor. In other words, confirmation that the Conservative figures that they cite really have no real world resonance, they are arbitrary numbers, outdated(when were their figures first quoted, just how old are they?), nothing concrete to counter the numbers the international conclusion the PBO was part of.
In addition, this now recurring argument (might be paraphrasing here):
"F-35 is the only plane that meets the requirements"
We keep hearing this argument, which begs the question- if this plane meets our requirements, why oh why does this government REFUSE to release the Statement of Requirements for this plane? I won't rehash previous posts, but we have a situation wherein this government can't confirm the costs, admit the price can change, plus their argument on fitness is handicapped by their own inability to produce KNOWN verification? How anyone can be comfortable with almost surreal scenario escapes me.
Next time a Conservative challenges the critic costs, cites their own costs, just remember they haven't done their own math, the ADMIT their analysis isn't "firm" or "fixed" and their justification for the plane is being withheld, despite normal protocols. A recipe for voter confidence if I've ever heard one. Screaming BOONDOGGLE, high pitched shrieking!