Canada's jet fighter replacement program is back in the news. But not for the right reasons. Nothing has changed regarding the billions of tax dollars paid to LockheedMartin since 1997. No government - Martin, Harper or Trudeau - has ever publicly addressed the Memorandum of Understanding costs written in stone for the Joint Strike Fighter that Canada signed as a Level 3 Industrial Partner. No order for aircraft has ever been signed or formally discussed. Yet the bills keep coming.
During the election campaign, Justin Trudeau made the F-35 an issue. Despite the Harper pledge to re-open the competition after much embarrassment in 2012, absolutely nothing had happened. Trudeau sought to change that. First, the obligatory pledge for an "open and accountable competition" from all parties interested in the procurement of aircraft to replace the CF-188 Hornets. Then came the stretch. On the campaign trail, Trudeau promised to exclude the F-35 from the bidding process. All voices of reason that immediately said this was impossible, because of NAFTA, NATO and supply contracts already in place, were ignored. Corporate media instead chose to report the statement verbatim with no explanation of realities. That brings us to the last week, where outrage is rampant over another broken election promise from that same corporate media.
We will look at the realities of today and the follies of yesterday from simply trying to buy new fighter aircraft. There will be six likely entrants in the new contest. We will look at them all regarding cost, benefit to Canada, effectiveness, politics and time.
Join us to examine the multi-billion dollar question - Who will supply Canada's next fighter aircraft. And when.
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