As the debate continues over Canada's purchase of the F-35s, now estimated to be upwards of 21 billion dollars, the Conservatives are suggesting that jobs will be created with their purchase. Or at least fear mongering that jobs will be lost if we don't purchase them.
The fact that these planes are the FORD of the aviation industry (Fix Or Repair Daily), maintenance contracts could be lucrative. But there are no guarantees that Canadian companies will even be awarded any of those contracts. They can only bid on them.
But I stumbled across a story in regards to Harper's first love, Israel. They are also buying these high maintenance planes, but they are GUARANTEED a bit of gravy.
The value of work that the F-35's manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Company (NYSE: LMT), is prepared to give Israeli defense companies, assuming that the Israeli government agrees to buy 20 planes, could amount to 180% of the procurement cost, reports "Defense News". This is an extraordinary return in international arms deals, and has caused sharp criticism in the US.Stephen Harper plucked a Lockheed Martin lobbyist off Bay Street to act as his chief of staff, ensuring that taxpayers are saddled with this junk, and asked for nothing in return. Nothing.
Lockheed Martin has undertaken to award Israeli defense companies contracts worth $4 billion for work related to production of the F-35, with the option of increasing the amount by at least a further $1 billion, over the next ten years, provided that Israel buys 20 F-35s. The procurement will cost $2.75 billion, which will be entirely financed by US military aid to Israel. If Israel gives the green light, it will be the first foreign country to buy the plane.
And Israel is getting all of the largesse. And they are even getting some of the planes FOR FREE!
So are we buying those planes to fight the Russians as dingbat MacKay suggests, or to defend Israel? Why won't this government come clean with Canadians?
It's rather disturbing when a Canadian prime minister puts a foreign nation ahead of his own. And as Jennifer Ditchburn said, Canada is standing alone in not denouncing the Egyptian dictator, based on Harper's troubling attachment to this country.
On the surface, the Conservative government's statements on the crisis in Egypt might seem a carbon copy of those churned out by the White House. But there has been one major difference — and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's staunch support for Israel and strong backing within Canada's Jewish community could offer clues about why.Stephen Harper could incite anti-Semitism, in the same way that siblings start to resent each other when one is getting a bigger piece of the pie.
President Barack Obama's administration, along with major European countries, have called for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step aside now and allow for a transition of power. But the Canadian government has markedly refrained from asking for Mubarak's ouster. Instead, it has spoken in broad terms about the need to respect human rights and a peaceful transition to democracy. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon on Thursday condemned the detention of Canadian journalists in Cairo, but did not wade into the question of Mubarak's presidency.