F-35 a Different Story

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I refer of course to the writings of Brian Lilley of the Ottawa Sun, A staunch supporter of the F-35 purchase. A knowledgable writer as far as I am concerned. If the NDP and Liberals were able to read his article, we might then get action in this major purchase to bring Canada into the 21st century in the airfoece.

Brian Lilley

Parliamentary Bureau

Brian Lilley is host of Byline on Sun News Network, daily show that follows the stories that matter to Canadians. Brian also writes regularly in the pages of Sun Media newspapers including a column each Friday. Prior to joining Sun, Brian spent 10 years covering politics on talk radio in several major Canadian markets including Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. His work has been featured on CNN TV and Radio, CBS Radio and on some of the top talks shows in Canada. Brian lives in Ottawa with his wife and four children.

 You are being lied to about the cost of fighter jets, except the lying isn't being done by the government.

If you've paid attention to the news at all lately, you've heard about the "rising costs" of replacing Canada's aging fleet of CF-18 fighter jets with the new F-35.

Initial government costs to buy the plane came in at $9 billion, but this week headlines screamed about the cost being $46 billion.

What a load of garbage.

A report from auditing firm KPMG, commissioned by the government, said the full cost of the plane, from development through operating and on to decommissioning, was $45.8 billion.

That estimate includes fuel, pilots and maintenance - all things that would need to be paid for regardless of which plane is purchased.

It is a strange form of accounting that says we need to account for every shoelace and jug of windshield washer fluid that might come near the planes.

Can you imagine what the cost of your car would be if you calculated its cost over decades, including estimates of every brake job, oil change and fill-up?

We don't do this for other government programs or purchases, yet the opposition and the media demand that this is the only true way to account for military purchases.

When a previous Liberal government promised a new national daycare program, no one asked what it would cost over 40 years.

In fact, the F-35 program was signed on to by the Liberals and no one asked back then how much this would cost over four decades.

Here is something remarkable you haven't seen in the headlines.

The report from KPMG found that the government had been telling the truth from the beginning: The cost to just buy the planes was less than $9 billion.

There are plenty of areas to criticize this government about when it comes to spending, but fighter jets that we haven't purchased just isn't one of them.

The money hasn't been spent and even if we do buy the F-35, it will be money well spent compared to other budget items.

National defence is actually a responsibility of the federal government under the constitution unlike, say, running a television network or giving out corporate welfare under the guise of "economic development."

If we accounted for the cost of CBC and economic development the same way the opposition and media demand we account for the F-35, both would cost more over the next

40 years than the fighter jets.

What this is really all about is an attempt to make sure that Canada does not have a suitable military.

There is a significant segment of the population that thinks the military should just do peacekeeping, search-and-rescue and snow removal in Toronto.

This part of Canada doesn't want us to have fighter jets or a military capable of going into battle if need be.

Unfortunately, a large part of the media and both opposition parties fall into this camp.

Sure, they will tell you they are worried about the cost, but then will say we need to look at fighter jets other than the F-35.

We did exactly that on my show Byline and found that the alternatives to the F-35 cost as much or more than the plane we should apparently avoid.

This fight of the last few months isn't about whether we should buy the F-35.

It is about whether we should have a properly equipped military.


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 The F-35 weapon Carriage Capacity for your perusal use this link.


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Perhaps Santa will be good for our fighter pilots and deliver some new aircraft sooner rather than later.

NORAD will once again be tracking Santa along his delivery route. Update for your children or grandchildren are available  in many languages by locating this link on your computer.


Please remember our men and women serving throughout the world, especially at this season of the year. Please also say a prayer for the release of one of our NATO Allies Sgt  Bowe Bergdahl  US Army. See second Photo.


Nil Sine Labore



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Recent comments

  • Gilbert Cote
    December 19, 2012 - 09:48

    I wonder how you can refer to Brian Lilley as impartial as the Sun is totally bias in their reporting of the proposed purchased of the F35 a single engine fighter ac that will (if acquired) cost us the taxpayers a mint. Our forces need a fighter ac to replace the F18 but paying 9 million a Copy for a jet and acquiring only 65 is a total waste. First the Air Force needs to rewrite their SOR properly and state clearly the requirements for such an A/Cand not do like they did when acquiring the F18 and leave out weapons and the necessary guidance systems etc before they proceed any further. The MND has to sort out his priorities (Navy, Army,Air Force and what can Canada really afford.

  • Doug Halladay
    December 17, 2012 - 21:52

    I'm just wondering about the fact that when ever we hear about the USA taking out a car load of taliban in the far reaches of Afganistan or taking out a "safe House" in Pakistan, it isn't done using a F35 stealth aircraft; It is done using a Predator or some other such drone. If that can be done with total precision and without risking the loss of a billion dollar aircraft and a pilot, what exactly do we need a fleet of F35s for? Oh, for National Security, you say? What do you think the USA/Can border is being patrolled with? It isn't an F35, it is a predator. If you are near the border, look up and wink because Uncle Sam is watching you with a cheap little radio controlled model aircraft! Forget the F35! The same thing can be done with drones and one hell of a lot cheaper!

  • Terry Biggar
    December 17, 2012 - 14:07

    If this accounting method was used for all military purchases in the past our soldiers would still be walking and carrying muskets. If we do not have the F-35 then China, Russia and others will fly rings around our air force.