Thursday, July 15, 2010 11:56 AM
Steven Chase and Campbell Clark
The Harper Conservatives plan to announce this sole-source contract Friday at the Canadian Forces Uplands facility in Ottawa.
But Liberal industry critic Marc Garneau said his party can't support an untendered contract of this size.
The Tories are expected to spend $9-billion on the planes themselves but commit to as much as $16-billion when 20 years of maintenance and support are included. They're going to join the Americans in purchasing F-35 joint-strike fighters.
Mr. Garneau said the best value-for-money should be determined through a competitive process.
ďIf the Conservatives wonít put a stop to this contract, a future Liberal government will,Ē the Liberal MP said at an Ottawa news conference.
He said the existing CF-18s donít need to be replaced until 2017, so thereís no need for a contract to be signed in the near future.
In a release issued after Mr. Garneau's announcement, the Official Opposition muddied the water on their commitment, saying the party, if it won power, would put the fighter contract "on hold" while they review military procurement. They're also calling for a recall of the Commons defence committee to examine the purchasing process.
ďA Liberal government will put this contract on hold while we review military procurement,Ē Mr. Ignatieff said in the party's statement.
ďAt a time when the Conservatives are also signaling significant cuts to Veterans Affairs, a $16-billion sole-sourced contract, agreed to without transparency, canít be allowed to proceed."
It was a Liberal government that first got Canada involved in the Joint Strike Fighter project about a decade ago. But Mr. Garneau noted it did not bind Canada to buying the F-35.
Friday's announcement, to be made by Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Public Works minister Rona Ambrose and Industry Minister Tony Clement, will represent the next phase in what is shaping up to be one of biggest military projects in Canadian history.
The unveiling will also include a mockup of the F-35 Lightning II, industry sources say.
It would be almost equal in size to the entire 2006 plan to acquire more than 2,000 trucks, 21 transport planes, 16 heavy helicopters and three ships for the Canadian Forces.
The Tories are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. government that would see them buy the aircraft in tandem with the Americans' planned purchase of 2,443 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II jets.
Commentary by the OttawaMensCentre.com
Canadians need to take heed of the warning of Richard Faden regarding foreign
control of our politicians.
The greatest danger to Canadian sovereignty is none other than Stephen Harper who has sent a box of Canadian Government Blank Checks to the US government for them to sign.
The "proposed fighter" does not have a price tag. The cost of the American F35 has more in common with a weather balloon, the price is going up up and away and Canadians will be on the hook for generations to come.
A V35 is about as necessary to Canada as a nuclear powered aircraft carrier but the cost of that little toy would make all Canadians effectively indentured slaves of our US masters which is very obviously what Mr. Harper plans for us.
Canada has very serious economic problems looming in the next ten years. The most serious is the aging population which is a direct result of Canada's war on men, that's right, not a war on terrorism but a war on men.
Men in Canada have next to no legal rights, any woman can put any male in jail for next to no reason and have all his legal rights removed in a flash. Its resulted in men, not wishing to become fathers and men deciding not to remarry and not to have any more children after separation.
Our legislation actually sends men to jail indefinitely if they can't pay fictitious orders for support. Ottawa Ontario has some of the worst examples of the underbelly of the judiciary who make those orders. Power and Sheffield are two of the worst in Canada and can be found leaving their trails of corrupt destruction at 161 Elgin Street Ottawa and Mr. Harper doesn't give a dam.
The net effect is that Canada, has set up, incredible disincentives for families to be families, to deter men from becoming fathers which has resulted in a declining birth rate.
Canada's greatest economic threat can be addressed primarily by a Legal Presumption of Equal Parenting.
By 2010, China is projected to outpace the United States in military
spending. China is also "investing" in Canada and after the United States and
Israel, is the subject of Richard Faden's warning to Canadians.
Canada is in a short term self destruct mode, our population is declining due to a negative birth rate primarily due to Canada's failure to have a legal presumption of equal parenting.
Canada's economic potential, the ability to pay for trillion dollar US military funding, is hampered by our shrinking population of income earners.
Canada's greatest threat to National Security is Canada's failure to Legislate the Equal Rights of Children to a relationship with both parents after separation.
It's that legislative failure that is primarily responsible for our declining birth rate and which presents a potential economic collapse of Canada.
Its interesting that Marc Garneau is now demonstrating some leadership ability that puts Igy to shame. Guess who the Liberals will be looking to replace Igy with. Then of course there is the guaranteed eventual future PM of Justine Trudeau who has already demonstrated his ability to lead and shown his Obama like passion and determination not to mention common sense.
Igy's summer long tour has yet to show one iota of leadership ability.