Harper on the hook for trade deals, F-35s, GM share sale losses

In replying back to Ken Oakes about my previous article regarding Canada’s submarine purchase, I do apologize to the readership and Conservatives as I had not done the proper research on the topic except looking at the Globe and Mail article stating that only three of the four purchased submarines from England are in service. The Liberals were indeed responsible for the purchases.

However, I have done my homework on the other topics. Regarding the F-35 fighter jets, the Conservatives are carrying the ball on this one. On April 2012, CBC news carried an article about the F-35 which stated the Auditor General found the Department of National Defence “did not fully inform the decision makers”, “did not exercise due diligence”, and “understated the known costs” to Parliament. I believe this is when the costs went from $16 billion to much higher.

If one Googles the Ottawa Citizen and Bloomberg.com, an article from Michael Gilmore, Pentagon director of combat testing, states that the F-35 has flawed software and serious radar deficiencies required to spot the enemy as well as combat missions. They don’t expect to have this corrected until 2018. Many countries have cut back their orders as the F-35 has still to be proven capable. Two interesting sites are the www.defenceindustrydaily. com, and www.defencetech. org or Military.com, where an article states the gatling gun on the F-35 won’t be working for four more years. My point of the F-35 is that from all these articles online, the plane seems too costly and may not achieve the claims of the manufacturer when completely finished.

Now with the mention of NAFTA. Yes, Brian Mulroney did bring in NAFTA, but a Conservative is a Conservative, and Mr. Harper is still trying to get more countries involved. As far as I am concerned, NAFTA has been the downfall of the middle class and many losses of good paying jobs. Under Canadian Government, NAFTA, from 2013 to 2015 there are nine cases of Notices of Intent Received and Current Arbitrations. In the Huffingtonpost.ca, there is an article stating under Chapter 11, NAFTA, Canada is the most sued country under the Free Trade Tribunals.

Now, here is where I think Mr. Oakes and I may have different sources as to the outcome of the GM share sale by the federal government. In the Ottawa Citizen, Bloomberg. ca, Auto Industry Reports, and theglobeandmail.com, April 7, 2015, an article states the taxpayer is on the hook for $3.5 billion. The Auditor General reported last year on the 2009 auto rescue by the federal and Ontario governments. The governments received $5.4 billion Canadian back on their loan of $13.7 billion. GM bought back $400 million in preferred shares. Ontario sold their remaining shares for $1.1 billion before the federal government share sale for $3.2 billion. Total proceeds back to the governments are around $10.2 billion. Invested $13.7 billion minus return of $10.2 billion equals $3.5 billion in the hole.

Is this good fiscal management?

Rick Faulkner


Cowichan Valley Citizen