Liberal leader pipes up about PM's plan for fighter jets
CTV Southwestern Ontario
Published Sunday, January 16, 2011 5:42PM EST
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff hosted a public event at Bingeman's Sunday afternoon Kitchener where he was vocal in his opposition of the government's plan to buy a new fleet of F-35 fighter jets.
The government wants Canada to buy 65 of the jets. It's a purchase that could jump to $16B.
Ignatieff say he opposes Harper's move because the government awarded a private contract to build the planes to one contractor without a public bidding process.
"There are some other planes that are actually available on the shelf now that might meet Canadian needs at a much cheaper price," says Ignatieff. "We think this is a bad deal for the Canadian tax payer. We think we need to put it out to competitive tender and get the right plane at the right price."
But Harper stands by the decision, and publicly defended it on Friday.
"We know this is the best deal long-term over the next forty years. It's a long term deal," says Harper.
But military experts say the government has mismanaged the situation.
"The F-35 manufacturers know there's no competition. There is no incentive to them to provide the best most competitive economic package to Canada if we say we're going to buy it no matter what," says Alistair Edgar, Prof. Wilfrid Laurier University.
If Harper's plan goes through, the first jets are expected to be ready in 2016.