Canada spends $762.16 million on the F-35 fighter jet
On May 6, the Canadian Press reported, “The federal government has made another multimillion-dollar investment into the development of the [Lockheed Martin] F-35 stealth fighter jet, even as it weighs a new extension to the $19-billion competition to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s [that it recently spent $3.8 billion on].”
“Canada made the annual F-35 payment to the U.S. military last week, spending US$70.1 million to remain one of nine partner countries in the fighter-jet project.”
The article adds that this payment brings Canada’s total investment in the F-35 to US$541.3 million since 1997. In Canadian dollars, that’s about $762.16 million.
The Canada Pension Plan is also deeply invested in Lockheed Martin, the transnational corporation behind the F-35 fighter jet.
On February 14, Fintel, which “provides advanced research tools for data-driven investors”, posted that the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) now holds USD $53.7 million in holdings in Lockheed Martin as of December 31, 2019.
But increasingly questions are being asked about spending money on fighter jets and armaments especially given the pandemic and climate change.
On April 8, George Monbiot highlighted in his column in The Guardian newspaper, “The UK is acquiring 138 new F-35 aircraft.”
He then comments, “Can it bomb the coronavirus? Can [it] defeat climate breakdown? It is of as much use in solving the world’s complex and pressing problems as a jackhammer is to a watch-mender.”
Monbiot concludes, “If ever there were a time for brokering peace, this is it. If ever there were a time to reassess the genuine threats to our security and separate them from the self-interested aims of the weapons industry, this is it.”
Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, further comments, “Wars and the military render impossible the aspirations contained in the Green New Deal. And slashing the out-of-control military budget is crucial to provide the billions of dollars we need to create a sustainable and egalitarian economy.”
The Trudeau government has stated it is committed to a feminist foreign policy.
Last month, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom highlighted, “A feminist approach to peace and security is one that defines true human security not by stockpiling weapons or issuing threats, but by dismantling structures of oppression and injustice through negotiation, cooperation and redistribution of resources.”
The three transnational corporations bidding to win $19+ billion in public dollars to sell 88 fighter jets to Canada are Lockheed Martin (with its F-35 Lightning II), Boeing (with its F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III fighter jet), and Saab (with its Gripen-E fighter jet).
The Canadian Press article adds, “The three companies were originally supposed to submit their bids at the end of March, but that was pushed back to June 30 following a request by Saab. Despite the pandemic, the federal procurement department insisted last month that it still expected companies to meet that deadline.”
Reuters has reported, “A winner [is expected to be] named early in 2022, and the first aircraft delivery to be scheduled for as early as 2025.”
Peace Brigades International was founded in 1981 to undertake the task of peace-keeping, peace-making and peace-building under the discipline of nonviolence. PBI is convinced that enduring peace and lasting solutions of conflicts between and within nations cannot be achieved by violent means.