As the old arguments concerning the procurement of the F-35 fighter jet start again the only thing that is clear is that the Harper led conservative government is leaking information to the press and calling it the new way to communicate with the opposition parties. Now the normal way of dealing with issues in an open, sharing, transparent government is to do so in the House of Commons first, in front of the Speaker of the House and all of the MPs in attendance. This shows respect for all of the members of parliament voted for by all Canadians and in so doing shows respect for all Canadian voters whether they voted for you or not.
It would seem that the Minister of National Defense, Peter Mackay made one hell of a deal when he stepped aside and allowed Prime Minister Harper to become the head of the newly formed Conservative Party of Canada. It would seem that he has a no firing clause in that agreement and must hold a ministerial portfolio as long as Harper is the leader of the party. I say that because it is the only way that this inept, constantly grinning, gutless wonder who will not defend his decisions, or stand up in the House of Commons and take responsibility for what has the potential for becoming one of the greatest procurement blunders in Canadian history is still in charge of our national defenses, even if it is only a paper tile in his circumstance.
The conservatives have tried to destroy anyone who questioned why this procurement, the largest single procurement of military weaponry in the history of Canada happened without competition. The auditor general, the PBO, this government called them both liars, incompetent when they both estimated the true cost of the F-35 fighter jet, but it goes beyond that, it goes to the very essence of Stephen Harper and his government. They believe and act as though because they have a majority government that they are above the law and the last time I looked nobody in Canada is above the law.
When every attempt to smear the good names and reputations of hard-working dedicated public servants proved not to be working they decided to say that they had made a mistake and the difference between their numbers and that the PBO was actual cost of the jets and costs of upkeep and maintenance; problem was they knew it was a lie then, so did the opposition parties and the Speaker of The House of Commons, and they became the first government in the history of Canada to be removed from office in Canada for intentionally lying and misleading The House and in essence intentionally misleading Canadians.
Our soldiers, our fellow citizens and the media were made to believe that we who disagreed with the numbers the Conservative Government of Canada were giving out for the costing of the F-35 Fighter Jet were bad Canadians and did not want our men and women of the Air Force to have the best equipment. When we asked why no tender offered for the biggest procurement the military has ever made in the history of the Canadian Armed Forces and what was in it in terms of jobs for Canadians, we were told:
- There was no Canadian company, or any other country in the world able to build this generation type of aircraft, so no need for any bidding .
- Jobs would come as a result of maintaining the F-35 Fighter Jet.
- That this aircraft would put Canada’s pilots in the best position possible assist our allies and better enable us to participate in our mission against terrorism and in doing so save both the life’s of our allies, the innocent people we were supposed to be helping and last, but not least save the lives of our military on the ground.
Then there is the issue of whether or not we are contracted to buy these F-35 Jet Fighters or not? If we are why can the contract that is sign now be shown to the opposition parties and Canadians, so that once and for all we can see clearly the benefits of the F-35 Jet Fighter and just how it was the only aircraft for the job and how and what was guaranteed for Canadians as spin-off work, from this the largest Air Force procurement in the history of Canada. When facts are presented in the proper manner in an appropriate time frame in writing they are hard to dispute, so why haven’t the Prime Minister and the Conservative Government of Canada done just that and shut up all of us mean-spirited bad Canadians? When faced with the kind of accusations, negative allegations being expressed by us other Canadians why not just produce the contract and let it speak for itself?
When opposition members are calling for the defense Minister Peter Mackay to resign, calling him incompetent, a Minister who has been stripped of all control of his portfolio and rendered powerless, why leave him hanging in the wind, why not offer up the proof of his good work, by showing the contract and saving his reputation? The answer to all of the whys is simple, what is being said about the way the F-35 Jet Fighter contract was handled is true and the facts surrounding this purchase has the potential to bring this government down. this government would have to admit that it has been lying to the Canadian people on something so important for the better part of 7 years, got caught doing it lied to get out of trouble and kept on lying right up to this very day. It will finally become clear by all Canadians that this government is incapable of telling the truth about anything and would probably remove any credibility ever associated with the Conservative Party of Canada for a long time to come.
This might even be considered by some just good political one up man ship, but when the lives of our military are on the line and in these hard economic times when we are being forced to go without some of the most basic of things and we are being told by this government to tighten our belts, how dare they pull off this type of fiasco, that will cost Canadians billions of dollars on a jet fighter that:
- Already is having technical difficulties.
- By time it is delivered, if it is delivered will already be obsolete.
- Has already tripled in cost if you use the governments original costing numbers.
- Has no guarantee of Canadian companies and therefore Canadian workers benefiting from either the production of the aircraft or maintenance of the aircraft secured in the contract, if there is a contract.
- Sill leaves our air force pilots flying dangerous missions in outdated aircraft.
I think that we have some serious non military consequences to face for trusting Stephen Harper and Defense minister peter Mackay to do the right thing and they are:
- Canadians who want the same thing for our men and women who serve us so well in the military and that is the best equipment possible, will be further pitted against one another fighting over whether this government is telling the truth about the F-35 Fighter Jet, when all this government has to do to alleviate the tension and the rumors and allegations is to produce the contract, if they have one, or admit that they have made a colossal mistake in the procurement of this jet fighter and face the will of the Canadian voter.
- At a time when people are loosing their jobs, not allowed to strike, not allowed raises, losing Medicare, facing tuition hikes and all other manner of things, we stand to lose billions of dollars in what could have been an economic boost if this procurement had been handled properly and guarantees asked for by this government.
- Good hard-working civil servants are having their reputations being damaged by this government as they try to cover up their incompetence and their out right deceit, by maligning and falsely quantifying the accurate work and findings of said civil servants.
- The Conservative Party of Canada has proven that it is impossible for the Prime Minister to do the right thing on his own, because the temptation to do what he wants is too great! Just like a little chid who steals, or does other things that are just not right the more he gets away with it the more he is likely to continue thinking that he is out smarting everyone and continue to break the rules.
It is now time to get a firm grip on our badly misbehaving child and teach it right from wrong and the meaning of the word “No”. It is time for our child to stop picking up things and breaking them. It is time for us to make our spoilt child to stop scratching, biting and hitting the other children and make the bad child play nicely with the other children. It is now time to make the selfish child share with the other children and stop saying everything is theirs. It is now time to teach the anti social child that it will find the world a very lonely, cold and scary place if it keeps isolating itself with its actions and words. It is now time to teach our child how to be a warm, compassionate, loving human being and in doing so give it the tools to care about all that is happening around it and be a helpful influence on the world and not a destructive one. It is time to teach our Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Defense Minister Peter Mackay and the rest of the Conservative Party of Canada, that behavior such as they have exhibited from the beginning of their involvement with the procurement of the F-35 fighter Jet, will no longer be tolerated and we as Canadians will no longer tolerate everything falling under their veil of secrecy and their dark cloud of divisiveness cloud.
In closing, I will say that, the issue of how and why it had to be the F-35 fighter jet, has been there since this conservative government’s first announcement of Canada’s intention to buy it and not because it was not a top quality jet, but because of the way it all played out in secrecy behind closed doors and without meaningful debate with other members of parliament; with no tenders to find the best price and the best deal for the best air craft. What is becoming obviously clear to even the most staunch conservative supporter is the faulty costing details concerning the acquisition of the F-35 Fighter Jet and the length to which this government has lied to the Canadian people and has put forward false facts with the sole intent of keeping Canadian and parliamentarians in the dark about the mismanagement of this file. Even if this was the best aircraft; even if all that the Defense Minister says about the aircraft is true, ( which we know now never was) the process was not proper and was not in keeping with the spirit of democratic process. the back door dealings and the lack of debate showed an arrogance that reeked of disdain and a profound lack of respect for parliament, parliamentary procedure, the opposition parties and Canadians. I think that it will be interesting to see what the new, “7 step plan” is that the Defense Minister announced that his little group of insiders are working on and will follow, but once again can’t trust Canadians with the details of right now. When will the Conservative Party of Canada understand that it is they who work for us and everything that they do is our right to know?
- Cost of buying, servicing F-35 fighter jets could reach $40B: sources (ctvnews.ca)
- Peter MacKay avoids answering when asked if government is looking at alternatives to F-35 (news.nationalpost.com)
- Defence Minister Peter MacKay urged to step down amid F-35 fallout (canada.com)
- The Commons: Back to the future of the F-35 (macleans.ca)