Conservatives Call for Competition for New Fighter Jets

September 13, 2017

OTTAWA, ON – Following the U.S. State Department’s notification to congress that the proposed sale of 18 Super Hornet fighter jets to Canada would cost $6.4 billion, James Bezan, Shadow Minister for National Defence and Tony Clement, Shadow Minister for Public Services and Procurement, issued the following statement:

“Conservatives support policies that strengthen our national defence and ensure that our men and women in uniform have the best equipment, training and support available. Yesterday’s announcement confirms that the Liberal plan to replace Canada’s CF-18 fleet has been fundamentally flawed from the onset. During the 2015 federal election, Justin Trudeau promised to hold an open competition yet at the same time he committed to exclude one of the contenders. This promise was not based on the advice of experts but was made for purely partisan reasons.

“The Liberal plan would result in Canada spending over $6 billion CDN on 18 planes. Last February the United States Department of Defence announced its intention to purchase 90 F-35s for $8.5 billion USD. As defence analyst David Perry from the Canadian Global Affairs Institute has said, ‘$6.3 billion is awfully expensive for temporary aircraft’. Conservatives wholeheartedly agree.

“On a per plane basis, the United States deal for 90 F-35s would mean a per unit cost of approximately $90 million USD. The Liberal plan proposes to spend over $350 million CDN on each Super Hornet. Even after accounting for the exchange rate, this makes no sense whatsoever. These figures also do not factor in the additional training and maintenance costs that are inevitable when running a mixed fleet.  It is unfortunate that Canadian taxpayers are being forced to pay for the Prime Minister’s ill-conceived campaign promises.

“With the threats that exist in the world today, especially from rogue states such as North Korea, it is absolutely necessary we provide our military with the best available equipment to defend Canadians and our allies. According to a recent survey by the MacDonald-Laurier Institute, the vast majority of Canada’s defence experts agree that the government should abandon its plan to purchase an interim fleet of fighter jets and immediately proceed to an open competition. Several of Canada’s allies have completed such a competition in less time than these Liberals have been in power.

“It is time for the Prime Minister to set politics aside and do what is right for Canada’s national defence. He should follow the advice of experts and immediately proceed to an open competition to find a permanent replacement for Canada’s CF-18s.”

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For more information:
Office of James Bezan, MP
Shadow Minister for National Defence
613-992-3563
james.bezan.a1@parl.gc.ca

Office of Tony Clement, MP
Shadow Minister for Public Services and Procurement
613-944-7740
tony.clement.a1@parl.gc.ca