Saturday, October 9, 2010

Stephen Harper Goes on the Attack to Get His Damn Fighter Jets

The Harper government has gone to enormous lengths to award a single source contract to an American arms dealer, Lockheed-Martin for fighter jets that we don't need or want, and can't afford.

They've hacked computers.

Faked a Russian threat.

Hired an employee of the firm as Harper's chief of staff.

But Stephen Harper may now have gone too far, in his latest assault on a critic of the purchase.
Confronted by an insider warning against the sole-sourced purchase of a fighter jet dubbed the Flying Credit Card, a furious Stephen Harper on Thursday chose to attack the whistle-blower — and warn against massive aerospace job losses if opponents continue “playing politics” with the lives of Canadian troops. Such hyperbole suggests the F-35 jet fighter controversy is getting under the Prime Minister’s skin. He may have cause to fret.

Retired assistant deputy minister of materials Alan Williams — an expert who is hard to dismiss — took the parliamentary stand on Wednesday afternoon to denounce the lack of competition for $9-billion worth of fighter jets as likely to squander billions of tax dollars and lost business opportunities. Mr. Williams warned Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s logic on the F-35 file is “flawed,” and he’s taking public positions that “insults our intelligence.” This is no opposition cheap shot.

This comes from a 33-year public servant who signed the memorandum of understanding in 2002 committing Canada to $100-million in funding to develop the F-35 stealth fighter. He’s even written a book on the subject: ReinventingCanadian Defence Procurement: A View From The Inside.
There are no jobs to lose, except perhaps in the United States. Canadian firms were only told that they could "bid" on maintenance contracts, which in Harperspeak means "good luck with that."

We need to listen to Mr. Williams, because we all know Stephen Harper never will.

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