Today, Official Opposition Critics for Public Services and Procurement, MP Alupa Clarke, and MP Kelly McCauley, moved a motion calling on the Liberal members of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates to immediately undertake a study of the Government’s proposed acquisition of eighteen Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets. Debate on this motion was shut down by the Liberal majority on the committee. Alupa Clarke and Kelly McCauley issued the following statement:
“The Liberals have once again used their majority on the Committee to shut down debate on the motion to study this Boeing sole-source contract. It is unacceptable that we are forced to resort to procedural tactics to have a study on such a massive contract for Canada. Despite the concerns of experts, military officials, and public servants, the Liberals will not allow this discussion to happen.
“Boeing has been lobbying the American government to impose a 20% import tax on top of the foreign military sales tax which would substantially increase the cost of these ‘interim’ jets. The Super Hornet is at the end of its production lifecycle, it’s substantially rising in cost, and reportedly could only be operational for 12 years. If we’re going to get serious on the question of good deals for Canada, we have to ask why we’re willing to buy this jet at double the tax, at a higher price tag, and only for interim use.
“When our previous Conservative government was considering the F-35, we agreed unanimously to all forms of debate and Ministerial appearances. We did not force public servants and military personnel to sign gag orders, we did not force the Department of National Defence to remove reports from the public eye, and we did not silence opposition to the program. The Liberals need to take a page out of our book and allow for debate on this serious project that will impact our economy, our industry, and our men and women in uniform.”