How bout them jets? (II)

In an interview with the Times & Transcript, Michael Ignatieff lays out his thoughts on the F-35 purchase.

Canada does need to replace its CF-18s and it needs to defend itself; the question is what plan do we really need to do that job? We need an open, competitive bid to determine what Canada’s needs really are and to get the best plane for that job at the best price.

The problem with the F-35 you can understand just by reading what they’re saying about it in the Pentagon; the thing is late, over budget, still in development and not even proven. There are other aircraft available right now that Canada could give us good value for money.

The other point is on the aerospace sector. We have not received a guarantee for aerospace jobs! What they’re saying is that there are going to be a whole lot of these aircraft bought and we can compete in the global market for a piece of the action.

Well that is not how you negotiate aerospace jobs! What you say is ‘if Canada is going to buy an air frame, we want guaranteed industrial benefits for Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, wherever we are doing aerospace.’ So, we care about Canada’s national defence but we will replace the CF-18 with an aircraft that gets value for money and guarantees aerospace jobs.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.