F-35 Fighter Jets

You can follow the money but the real stealth in those fighter jets is how so many Canadian industries need them to flourish. Buried in the story of the cost of F-35 fighter jets is how we got this far and the intricate web of development and business that has already been spun into the procurement of these planes. Controversies and accusations aside, there may be no turning back. Today, we're asking if the fighter jet procurement is simply too big to fail.

Part One of The Current


It's Wednesday, April 11th.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay promises increased oversight in the process of buying fighter jets.

Currently, he may have meant "an increase in oversights."

This is The Current.

F-35 Fighter Jets - Canadian Press Defence Correspondent

We started this segment with a clip from Defence Minister Peter Mackay at CFB Halifax yesterday, explaining that when it comes to the F-35s -- the only way is forward.

He just isn't quite as steadfast these days when it comes to what that way forward actually looks like. The government's unwavering commitment to buying the 65 stealth fighter jets has been tested by the Auditor General's bombshell report on the deal.

According to that report, the government knew the total cost of the jet program would be $25 billion - $10 billion more than the price tag floated to the public. The findings have caused a firestorm on Parliament Hill - and led opposition politicians to demand the resignation of the Defence Minister.

Despite all the turbulence, some analysts say there's little doubt Canada will ultimately proceed with the procurement since it's simply invested too much to walk away. Murray Brewster is the Defence Correspondent for The Canadian Press and the author of The Savage War. He was in Ottawa.

F-35 Fighter Jets - F-35 Design Software Company

The defence and aerospace industries are accustomed to political fury over military costs, and they point to the benefits. They believe this particular deal will prepare this country for its future defence needs, and could bring $12 billion in contracts to Canada. So they hope the deal will, indeed, prove "too big to fail".

Terrance Ingoldsby is the President of Amenaza Technologies, a company that creates software used in the design phase of the F-35 program. He joined us from Calgary.

F-35 Fighter Jets - Peter MacKay's Parliamentary Secretary

Chris Alexander is the Conservative MP for Ajax Pickering and Defence Minster Peter MacKay's Parliamentary Secretary. He joined us from Ajax, Ontario.

This segment was produced by The Current's Idella Sturino, Kathleen Goldhar and Howard Goldenthal.

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