Decision to buy jets disrespects Canadian taxpayers

Dear editor,
When undertaking the most expensive military procurement ever, respect for hard-earned taxpayer dollars should be top priority.

Dear editor,When undertaking the most expensive military procurement ever, respect for hard-earned taxpayer dollars should be priority No. 1.But when it comes to the costs of the F-35 stealth fighter jets, John Duncan and the Conservative Party failed to be upfront with Canadians.Duncan claimed that cost was not a consideration in buying the F-35 because “our armed forces deserve nothing but the best.” (North Island Gazette, April 21, 2011).But the recent Auditor General’s report has shredded the Conservatives’ deception about the project: Stephen Harper low-balled Canadians on the project’s total cost.The report confirms the government knew the F-35 would cost $25 billion, but told Canadians $15 billion — $10 billion less. That’s a $10-billion mismanagement of your money.Nearly two years ago, the Liberals first raised a red flag about these concerns — only to meet with Conservative denials and deception.Mr. Duncan and the Conservative Party must stop being reckless with your tax dollars. Canada should hold an open competition to secure the planes our troops need at the right price.John McKayEditor’s note: John McKay is the defence critic for the Liberal Party of Canada.