No, this isn’t about the Snowbirds giving us their wonderful display
practice shows, it’s about a recent letter where an individual says he likes Conservatives but can’t vote for Harper until he comes through with the actual cost of the proposed new jet fighters. Unfortunately he can’t possibly know the actual cost of the fighters; not him, not the military, not Her Majesty’s loyal opposition and not even Mr. Page.
There are a multitude of factors that go into figuring out a “fly-away price.” Timing is the key one, i.e. getting in at the bottom,
getting in your bid and making your intentions known.
We have to buy from someone who will guarantee performance and a supply of parts for an unlimited time. We go forward with a set of requirements, i.e. what we would like and think we need, and when we need it, then they tell us how much it will be and when we can
We lever Canadian jobs into the equation but we pretty much have to pay what it costs. And we don’t set the price.
Problems occur when the political stick starts getting waved around. Whilst it is the politicians who are accountable to us all, effective management of these projects invariably ends when political interference begins.
Politicians should make the decisions and then get out of the way so the operators can do their job. Using these programs as political fodder is never helpful.
Most people will agree that we need new airplanes; the F18s will soon be worn and we need a good capability if we are to have a modern air force and any voice at all on the world stage.
The proactive move that governments took in the past to start and move this process forward is commendable; unfortunately making
this program into a political football is highly inappropriate. People who should know better are flinging about wildly distorted facts and figures and phrases like “jets and jails.” A local candidate who labelled the jet purchase as “ridiculous” really showed that he is not ready for prime time.
It has been proposed that we go to open completion and use the money for other things.
What? Did we learn nothing from the Sea King fiasco when we tried that last time? Millions upon millions wasted because we cancelled that contract at the last minute, and we still don’t have a replacement in the field!
As to the Jet, there has only ever been one real candidate for the replacement and it was selected by acclamation by many of our allies as well — Australia, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, and the U.K.
We would look internationally ludicrous if we backed out now. Our credibility in tatters, there would be expensive cancellation riders on any contract we might ever sign in the future.
Also, those workers in the rest of Canada who have already secured good aerospace jobs based on these contracts would be out for blood!
And yet, in an even more astonishing and brazen move, another political party, in a shameless effort to attract votes in a riding south of here, wants to buy ships with the money instead. Oh my, that is so sad.