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‘Accounting Difference’ – your latest F-35 defence by Pete MacKay

Apparently, a 10 billion $ discrepancy in what the F-35 was estimated to cost is now trying to be sold as no big deal – just a minor thing, according to Defense Minister MacKay:

Defence Minister Peter MacKay admits he knew that buying F-35 fighters could cost $25 billion — billions of dollars more than Ottawa publicly acknowledged — but insists there was never any effort to mislead Canadians. After days of fierce criticism that defence department officials intentionally kept Parliament in the dark about the cost of the F-35s, MacKay went on the offensive Sunday, insisting that a $10 billion gap in the fighter budget was an accounting difference.

Is Finance Minister Flaherty the one who told Pete to try out this line of defense? That sounds like something he might say. Regardless, if the government knew 2 years ago the plane might not cost that much, why not bother mentioning that in the election campaign of 2011? Why attack the Parliamentary Budget Officer – who correctly estimated the correct cost – as being unrealistic?

There’s a rather obvious answer to that: they didn’t want Canadians to know the real cost of this plane – what’s turning into the Ford Edsel of fighter jets.


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