Conservative's F-35 Purchase Misses the Target: Auditor General

April 3rd, 2012 - 6:00pm

Conservative's ‘opening fire’ on middle class with F-35’s, OAS cuts:  Rafferty

OTTAWA – The Harper Conservatives did not hold a fair and open competition for replacement of our aging F-18 fighter jets, drastically underestimated the cost of the F-35 purchase, and misled parliament on the details of the project said Auditor General Michael Ferguson in a report tabled today in the House of Commons.

“The Auditor General says that the Conservatives effectively rigged the F-35 process, did not know how much the new planes cost, and misled parliament and Canadians on the purchase,” Rafferty said.  “It doesn’t get any worse for a government than to be accused of a boondoggle that is 25 times more expensive than the Long Gun Registry.”

In his report Ferguson found that “National Defence did not exercise due diligence in managing the process to replace the CF-18 jets,” and “[Public Works and Government Services Canada] did not demonstrate due diligence in its role as the government’s procurement authority.” 

In addition to finding negligence on the part of two government departments, the Auditor General also found that; “Full life-cycle costs were understated in the estimates provided to support the government’s 2010 decision to buy the F-35,” that “some costs were not fully provided to parliamentarians,” and that the per unit cost of the planes had doubled since 2001 with the total 20 year cost of the F-35 project topping out at $25.12 billion for just 65 airplanes.

“It’s amazing that this government can tell Canadians that there isn’t enough money to maintain the Old Age Security (OAS) program for people under the age of 54, and then blowing $25 billion on a rigged F-35 purchase for just 65 aircraft,” Rafferty said.  “It looks to me like the Conservatives are just opening fire on middle aged and middle class Canadians by cutting $22,000 from their OAS payments to pay for this epic boondoggle.”

Source: The 2012 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada


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