I thought he was preaching austerity?
Oh, yeah. I forgot. He never practices what he preaches.
The Harper Conservatives are wasting taxpayer funds by hastily forging ahead with a sole-sourced military aircraft contract worth up to $16 billion - without a shred of accountability to the people of Canada, Liberal National Defence Critic Ujjal Dosanjh said today. "This wasteful government is giving away $16 billion in taxpayer money without a transparent bidding process," said Mr. Dosanjh. “It's outrageous, particularly from a government that has already racked up a record $54-billion deficit and blew more than $1 billion on a 72-hour G8/G20 meeting.”UPDATE: The Ottawa Citizen has picked up the story.
Last month it was revealed that the government was planning to use an Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN) to advise the public that it intends to contract with one particular supplier, since National Defence officials only want the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters made by Lockheed Martin. At that time, the estimated cost of the contract was upwards of $9 billion, not including maintenance costs. Media reports are now pegging the total cost with maintenance at up to $16 billion.
The Harper government is gearing up for more multibillion-dollar announcements on military equipment spending: one for a controversial purchase of new fighter aircraft, the other a re-announcement of a project that was derailed two years ago.
Department of National Defence officials are preparing for an announcement next Friday on a new fighter aircraft, a project estimated to cost $16 billion. Sources say since the purchase and its price tag are seen as potentially controversial, the government planned the announcement when Parliament wasn’t sitting and public interest would be at its lowest because of summer holidays.