Inside Politics

F-35 Flashback: Peter MacKay on Power & Politics

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Defence Minister Peter MacKay sat down with Evan Solomon, host of Power & Politics, the day the government announced its intention to buy 65 F-35 joint strike fighter jets. Given what we know now, it's an interesting chat.  

A few things I noted in the July 16, 2010 interview:

About three minutes into the interview, MacKay says Canada has spent "$150 million plus" on developing the jets. MacKay says the spin-off benefits at that point were $350 million, although the auditor general says the government's projections vary wildly and have never been independently verified.

Around the 6:30 mark, MacKay indicates he saw a statement of requirements for what the military needed to replace the CF-18s. As Evan reported earlier this month, the SoR is dated just one month before MacKay announced Canada would buy the jets.

At 9:50, MacKay refers to "signing the contract now" to bid on $12 billion in future contracts. As the government has recently made clear, and contrary to what Prime Minister Stephen Harper had said before, there is no contract.

Around 10:00, Evan asks what the in-service costs will be. MacKay says it's difficult to nail down those costs, when we now know DND had internal estimates.

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