To the editor:
Before, during and after the last federal election, Prime Minster Stephen Harper and his minions repeated the mantra that Canada was contractually obligated to buy the F35 and that no other aircraft could be contemplated, and that the total cost of the program was $9 billion.
Soon after the election, it became apparent that this figure was vastly below what the real cost would be.
Still, Harper continued to insist that the one-engined F35 was the only feasible aircraft and none other could be even considered.
Now, it turns out that the F35 is really a turkey, its capabilities are not known, and its cost is now at $45.8 billion.
Imagine any private household miscalculating to this extent and then insisting that the five-fold increase is some kind of rounding error.
Initially anyone, including the auditor general and the parliamentary budget officer, were accused of being unpatriotic or incompetent when they questioned the F35 program.
Of course, the Harper government also labelled those who had problems with its electronic snooping bill as being child pornographers, and those who dared question the pipelines to the Pacific as foreign-payed eco-terrorists.
The Conservative MPs, even those from B.C. where the ecological concern is overwhelming, sat quietly like trained seals, occasionally clapping when the signal was given.
This government has mastered a continuous stream of spin and half-truths, insults to the electorate, mean-spirited attack ads, and on and on.
They are now trying to make the public forget the F35 debacle by attempting to deflect attention away from it, and they are going through a process of hearings on the pipeline, although Harper has already publicly stated that it is “vital” to Canadian (Albertan?) interests.
If Canadians fall for these transparent manoeuvres, then, surely, we do not deserve any better.