Piotr Bein's blog = blog Piotra Beina

05/04/2012

No F-35 Stealth Fighters for Canada!

Filed under: Uncategorized — grypa666 @ 21:54
No Stealth Fighters
Prime Minister Harper,I am very concerned that your government spends more than $21 billion every year on the Department of National Defence, and plans to purchase a fleet of extremely expensive F-35 stealth fighters.Instead, I urge you to cut wasteful military spending and the F-35s, and use our tax dollars to preserve our pensions and social programs, protect the environment, improve our health care and assist the world’s poorest.M. le premier ministre Harper,

Votre gouvernement dépense 21 milliards de dollars par année au ministère de la Défense nationale, et prévoit acheter une flotte de chasseurs furtifs F-35 extrêmement onéreux. Cela m’inquiète et me désole.

En lieu de cela, je vous demande instamment de mettre fin au gaspillage de ressources à des fins militaires et au programme du F-35. Utilisez plutôt l’argent de nos impôts pour protéger nos programmes sociaux et nos régimes de retraite, préserver l’environnement, améliorer nos services de santé et venir en aide aux plus démunis de la planète.

Salutations sincères | Sincerely

Piotr Bein
Canada

This email was sent by the signer through ceasefire.ca.
For more information, please contact petitions@ceasefire.ca

 

===========================

Thank you for your e-mail concerning the Harper Conservatives’ spending on National Defense and F-35 stealth fighter jets.

On July 16th of last year, Defense Minister Peter MacKay announced that the Canadian government planned to purchase 65 new F-35 fighter jets for a hefty price tag of $16 billion. Many Canadians responded to this announcement with disbelief and frustration at the government’s disregard for spending on priorities such as social programs and renewable energy. In addition, Canada has no plausible security scenario in which air-to-air combat is necessary, further confusing the true need for F-35 fighter jets.

Canada’s involvement with the F-35 fighter jets came long before these jets were developed or even tested. Under previous Liberal governments, Canada signed on as a junior partner in the development project of these planes. Canada’s involvement started with a $10 million ‘donation’ to ensure Canada’s status as an ‘informed partner.’ In 2002, we threw in an additional $150 million to qualify our industries to bid for contracts for plane components. Meanwhile, the costs of the F-35 jets has escalated and increased by over 50%, making them incredibly over-budget. As a result, Canada is spending money we don’t have on planes we don’t need.

As a Member of Parliament, I see this project as a lost opportunity to reduce poverty, create green jobs, protect health care and fight climate change. Rather than spend $16 billion on F-35s, we need money allocated to affordable housing programs, environmental science and assessment, renewable energy, affordable daycare, the extension of EI benefits, grants to post-secondary students, poverty reduction, a green manufacturing fund among many other initiatives to help Canadians. Also, to limit the amount of debt and move towards a sustainable economy. We do need new aircraft, but they should be chosen through a competitive process and should focus on the needs for search and rescue, surveillance, and should be twin engine planes. In other words, we should only purchase jets that meet Canada’s needs.

To read more of my reaction to the government’s spending decisions, please read my article published in the Island Tides newspaper at http://elizabethmaymp.ca/news/publications/island-tides/2010/08/05/why-is-canada-spending-16-billion-on-fighter-jets.

I will continue to raise this issue in the House of Commons. I also recommend that you continue to write Conservative MPs. As well, letters to the editors of local and national publications expressing your dissent will be effective in assuring protests against this waste of resources will succeed.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth May O.C., M.P.

Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Island

Leader of the Green Party of Canada

==============================

(Le français suit l’anglais)

Thank you for writing about the Harper government’s mismanagement of the F-35 jets.

The Auditor General’s (AG) damning report proves yet again the need to have an open and fair competition to replace the CF-18s. The F-35 procurement process has been so problematic that the Conservatives have lost all credibility on this file. They misled Canadians by not telling them that the real cost of the program would be an additional $10 billion – a fact they knew two years ago!

Now they expect Canadian seniors to work two years longer to help pay for this fighter jet fiasco.

Given the AG’s report, the government’s failure to tell the true story to Canadians is unconscionable. And their failure to fully investigate shows their incompetence.

It has also become clear that all of the countries that were considering purchasing the F-35, including Israel, Australia, Japan and Turkey are reconsidering their orders while the U.S. has reduced its original order. Canada is the only one continuing with its commitment to buy this plane.

In Parliament, the Official Opposition critic and deputy critic for Military Procurement Christine Moore and Matthew Kellway have been relentless in challenging the Conservatives to come clean on the F-35 file. They urged the government to provide a clear statement of requirements to serve as the basis for an open, transparent and competitive tendering process. You can read more here:
http://www.ndp.ca/press/f-35s-conservatives-must-present-plan-b

The U.S. Government Accountability Office anticipates that Canada will pay at least $110 million per aircraft. The Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page estimates a price tag of $148 million each-numbers peer-reviewed for accuracy by Queen’s University, the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.  Further, it is clear that the declining orders for the F-35 and significant delays in the development of the aircraft will make the $75-million government estimate completely unrealistic.

You can learn more by reading this op-ed piece by NPD critic for Military Procurement Christine Moore here: http://christinemoore.ndp.ca/post/f-35-fighters-careful-consideration-needed

Again, thank you for writing. Rest assured that our team will continue to hold the Harper government to account for their reckless handling of the F-35 file.

Best regards,

Thomas Mulcair, M.P. (Outremont)
Leader of the Official Opposition
New Democratic Party of Canada

Je vous remercie de m’avoir fait part de vos préoccupations au sujet de la mauvaise gestion du programme des avions de combat F-35 par le gouvernement de Stephen Harper.

Le rapport accablant du  vérificateur général prouve, encore une fois, qu’il est nécessaire d’avoir un processus compétitif juste et ouvert pour remplacer la flotte vieillissante des CF-18. Les conservateurs ont perdu beaucoup de crédibilité dans ce dossier alors que le processus d’acquisition des F-35 s’est révélé être un véritable fiasco. Ils ont induit les Canadiens en erreur en ne divulguant pas le fait que les coûts réels du programme seraient de dix milliards de dollars plus élevés que prévu. Ils étaient pourtant au courant de ce fait depuis deux ans.

Ils s’attendent maintenant à ce que les aînés canadiens travaillent deux ans de plus pour financer ce fiasco.

Compte tenu de ce que révèle le rapport du vérificateur général, le fait que le gouvernement ait caché les faits aux Canadiens est inadmissible. Ne pas avoir mené d’enquête approfondie est également une preuve de leur incompétence.

Tous les pays qui envisageaient d’acheter des F-35, notamment Israël, l’Australie, le Japon et la Turquie reconsidèrent maintenant leur commande, alors que les États-Unis ont réduit la taille de leur commande initiale. Le Canada est le seul pays à aller de l’avant avec son projet d’achat initial.

Au Parlement, la porte-parole de l’opposition officielle pour les achats militaires, Christine Moore, ainsi que le porte-parole adjoint Matthew Kellway ont lutté sans relâche afin d’obliger les conservateurs à dévoiler la vérité concernant le dossier des F-35. Ils ont exhorté le gouvernement à fournir un énoncé des besoins clair qui servira de base à un processus d’appel d’offres ouvert, transparent et concurrentiel. Vous pouvez en apprendre davantage en consultant ce lien : http://www.npd.ca/article/f-35-conservateurs-doivent-presenter-un-plan-b.

Le bureau de la responsabilité gouvernementale des États-Unis (US Government Accountability Office) prévoit que le Canada déboursera au moins 110 millions $ par avion. Le directeur parlementaire du budget, Kevin Page, estime quant à lui que le coût sera de 148 millions $ par avion. Ces chiffres ont été révisés par des experts de l’Université Queen, la Commission des finances du Congrès américain et l’Institut des politiques stratégiques australien afin d’en assurer l’exactitude. Qui plus est, il ne fait pas de doute que la baisse des commandes pour le F-35 et les retards importants de fabrication de l’avion rendent complètement irréaliste l’estimation du gouvernement, qui est de 75 millions de dollars par avion.

Vous pouvez en apprendre davantage en lisant cet échange qui s’est tenu entre la porte-parole du NPD pour les achats militaires, Christine Moore, et le ministre conservateur associé de la Défense nationale, Julian Fantino : http://christinemoore.npd.ca/post/periode-de-questions-comment-les-conservateurs-vont-ils-justifier-davoir-fourni-de-linformation-trompeuse-sur-les

Merci une fois de plus de nous avoir écrit. Sachez que notre équipe continuera de tenir tête au gouvernement de Stephen Harper concernant sa gestion désastreuse du dossier des  F-35.

Veuillez agréer, Madame, Monsieur, l’expression de mes sentiments les meilleurs.

Thomas Mulcair, député d’Outremont
Chef de l’Opposition officielle
Nouveau Parti démocratique du Canada

 

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