Political Hell #1: Peter MacKay's F-35 Revisionism
Canada's former defence minister has always struggled with the facts about our next fighter jet
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“The facts truly speak for themselves,” Canada’s former defence minister Peter MacKay triumphantly wrote last Monday in the Toronto Sun. He was talking about the F-35 fighter jet. Its procurement is among Canada’s lengthiest, and ended officially earlier this month after the current Liberal government announced Canada will buy 88 of them to replace its fleet of ancient CF-18s. But facts have had a lot of trouble attaching themselves to the F-35 over the years – never more so than when MacKay was in charge of the file.
And for all the time that’s passed since he was shuffled off defence in 2012, he still seems to struggle with them. Case in point: “Given that the new price tag of $19 billion for the 88 jets is more than twice the projected price for the 65 agreed to in 2010,” MacKay wrote last week, “I certainly hope the degree of scrutiny that the previous Conservative government endured will be placed upon this contract.”
Where to start?