So, two things caught my eye recently:
- A bit over a week ago it was reported, in the National Post, that “The U.S. government has approved Canada’s purchase of [up to 25] used F-18 fighter jets from Australia, paving the way for the deal to be completed by the end of the year … [and] … The sign-off from the Americans was needed because the aircraft were built in the U.S. with U.S. technology;” and
- A few days ago Conservative defence critic James Bezan, on social media, noted that ~
Now, of course, we are (probably) buying the used F-18s from Australia because the Trudeau government wants to postpone serious discussions about buying a new fighter jet until after the 2019 election because they know that there are no new votes to be had, and likely some to be lost, by talking about buying big, expensive military aircraft. They created a wholly phoney “capability gap” because, their initial plan was to sole source (no competition) the purchase of new, 4th generation, Super-Hornet fighters from Boeing, but that fell through when Boeing attacked Bombardier over subsidies. The Super Hornet plan was needed because Prime Minister Trudeau did, indeed, say, in June of 2016, in response to a question in the House of Commons from then CPC leader Ronal Ambrose that the Conservatives messed up the fighter file because they ““clung to an aircraft (the F-35) that does not work and is far from working.”“
Well, the 5th generation F-35 Lightening II does work, in combat, and the plan to avoid a competition by buying the Super Hornet on a sole source contract is in ruins and so we are left with buying a couple of dozen used Australian F-18s, but no one, other than a few Conservative partisans, like me, will comment because:
- Prime Minister Trudeau decided to “kick the can down the road” until 2022 when, possibly, the F-35 may be the only aircraft still in production;
- Most of the media knows that most Canadians just don’t give a damn; and
- Too many people are still captivated by the Team Trudeau narrative that Justin Trudeau is always right about everything.
It may be to late to avoid buying 30 year old used aircraft ~ which are only on sale because the Aussies are replacing them with new F-35s ~ but it is not too late to replace Justin Trudeau with an adult leader.