Liberal Press Release
For Immediate Release
April 3, 2012
Harper Duplicity Clearly Exposed by Auditor General Report on F-35
OTTAWA– The Auditor General’s harsh assessment of the mismanaged F-35 procurement process has exposed the pattern of duplicity and stonewalling that has become the hallmark of the Harper Conservatives.
“Our caucus raised a red flag on this issue nearly two years ago,” said Liberal Leader Bob Rae. “On everything from the Conservatives’ initial decision to sole-source the multi-billion dollar purchase – the largest in Canadian history – to their blatant dishonesty on the existence of a ‘contract’, to their stubborn refusal to admit to the technical and financial problems facing the F-35 joint strike fighter program, and finally, to the contradictory stories from the Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and now Associate Minister of Defence, the Harper Conservatives have completely misled the Canadian public.”
Liberals warned of problems with the F-35 program well before the last election, and this wild spending – estimated to cost every Canadian about $1,000 – and their refusal to tell the truth and share facts with the House of Commons led directly to the government losing the confidence of the House of Commons last March. During the campaign that followed, Stephen Harper misled Canadians saying he had a contract protecting Canada from escalating costs and guaranteeing industrial benefits. We know now that no contract exists, and the report of the Auditor General confirms that the Conservative government is still unaware of the true cost of the F-35 and has ignored the risks related to this acquisition that have made many of Canada’s NATO allies scale back or rethink entirely their purchase of these planes.
“The Harper Conservatives have done nothing but stonewall and withhold vital information from Canadians,” said Liberal Defence critic John McKay. “Now they appear ready to throw bureaucrats and our armed forces under yet another bus, but Canadians won’t be fooled. Responsibility for this fiasco lies squarely on the Prime Minister’s desk. Other NATO governments shared facts, told the truth and allowed for public debate. The Harper Conservatives tried to hide the truth, attacked their political opponentsand have refused to come clean. They are still refusing to do so. Their conduct has been nothing less than disgraceful and the fault lies with one man, whose style of leadership has been exposed for all to see in this report."
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Posted by Brent Fullard at 12:38 PM