An explosive independent report on the Harper government’s controversial purchase of new fighter jets estimates their full cost, including maintenance, could hit $29.3-billion (U.S.).
That’s about $12-billion more than what the Tories have been telling Canadians it would cost.
...His report was independently peer-reviewed by non-partisan experts at the United States Congressional Budget Office, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and Queen’s University. Opposition Liberals, who’ve promised to cancel the F-35 contract if they win office, said Mr. Page’s report is proof the Tories have been hiding the program’s full costs of nearly $30-billion.
It is reasonable to conclude that the government was purposely hiding known information from public view, they intentionally withheld information for partisan reasons. In addition, the government is also withholding the normally released Statement of Operational Requirements document for the F35- one now wonders what jewels that paperwork contains??
Yesterday the Speaker held the government in contempt, today we learn why, the F35 issue just got a whole lot bigger. The Liberal position has been entirely vindicated, in fact it now looks downright sensible. Page confirms that sole sourcing is partially to blame, and he also states that we are not obligated to purchase these planes. The cost has become offensive, without a legally binding commitment, the Conservative case now looks completely irresponsible, rather than pragmatic, stubborn refusal in the face of glaring overruns, a hard sell is kind.
This government didn't release the SOR on this plane(hopefully today forces a media revisit on this curious omission), they didn't release their numbers on this plane, there is zero evidence of transparency. In fact, today is confirmation of a secret, behind closed door process, which now looks like a sham at the taxpayer expense. Today, highlights another example of the now emerging opposition theme that you can't trust this government. The 12 billion dollar figure obliterates any reasonable line on fiscal discipline, as well as neutering any attack on the Liberals spending commitments.
If played properly, I think today's release will haunt the government throughout a campaign, an already weary electorate will now move to astonished concern. It's a big number for Canada, which no amount of fear mongering or spin will necessary purchase. In addition, the F35 is now another primary example of all the themes the opposition has been cultivating recently, tailor made, a concrete dollar figure to highlight all the stems from it. The discrepancy between this independently reviewed, INTERNATIONALLY reviewed figure, and the government's sales job borders on a fraudulent presentation given to the Canadian people. There is really no other reasonable conclusion, factor in the Speaker also being forced to hold in contempt for STONEWALLING, intent seems quite clear.
Another sad day for transparent and open government....