The #Elxn44 federal party platforms on the planned purchase of a new fleet of fighter jets

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Photo: Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, his wife, Rebecca, and their children check out a CF-18 Hornet parked near their campaign plane as they arrive in Edmonton, Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz.

What do the platforms of the parties that hold seats in the House of Commons tell us about their positions on the planned purchase of new fighter jets next year?


The Liberal Party’s platform does not mention fighter jets.

It only notes (on page 69): “Remain a leading contributor to NATO operations, including by extending Operation Reassurance in Eastern Europe and maintaining Canada’s regular participation in NATO’s aerial and maritime patrol operations.”

This is in keeping with the Liberal government’s rationale for purchasing new fighter jets: “A modern fighter jet fleet is essential for defending Canada and Canadian sovereignty and contribute to our NORAD and NATO commitments.”

Notably, the Liberal Party’s 2015 platform (on page 70) stated: “We will not buy the F-35 stealth fighter-bomber. We will immediately launch an open and transparent competition to replace the CF-18 fighter aircraft. The primary mission of our fighter aircraft should remain the defence of North America, not stealth first-strike capability. We will reduce the procurement budget for replacing the CF-18s, and will instead purchase one of the many, lower-priced options that better match Canada’s defence needs.”

Despite this, the F-35 is one of the three fighter jets that are being considered in the Future fighter capability project acquisition process.

If the election were held today, the Liberals are projected to win 138 seats (the most seats of all the parties at this point, but not a majority).


The Conservative Party’s platform does explicitly mention fighter jets.

On page 100, their platform notes: “Fast-track the selection of a new fighter jet to replace our aging CF-18s through the current open competition and get the new fighter fleet into service as quickly as possible.”

The Conservatives are currently projected to win 132 seats.


The New Democratic Party’s platform states (on page 109): “In contracting for new military equipment, including ships and fighter jets, New Democrats will ensure maximum industrial benefits and jobs. This will help ensure the survival of healthy shipbuilding and aerospace industries all across Canada.”

The NDP are projected to win 40 seats.

Bloc Québécois

The Bloc Québécois platform does not mention fighter jets. It explains (on page 19): “In terms of international relations, Quebec has for official policy the Gérin-Lajoie doctrine. This states that everything that is within the jurisdiction of Quebec on its territory is under the jurisdiction of Quebec in the world.”

That said, in 2012, the Bloc appears to have supported the purchase of the F-35s if there were economic benefits for Quebec, while there was also the view that social housing was more needed than fighter jets.

The Bloc is projected to win 27 seats.


The Green Party has not released its platform, but its Foreign Affairs and Security policy statement notes: “Canada now needs a general purpose, combat capable force that can provide realistic options to the government in domestic security emergencies, continental defence and international operations.”

Their statement on the equipment needed by the armed forces does not include fighter jets, but rather: “naval and coast guard vessels that can operate in the Arctic Ocean, fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft, and helicopters.”

Green Party leader Annamie Paul also wrote critically last November about the purchase of the fighter jets in this Hill Times article.

The Greens are currently projected to win 1 seat.

The 44th federal election in Canada will take place on Monday September 20.

For more on the campaign to stop Canada’s planned warplane purchase, please see the No Fighter Jets website.

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