Questions about the fighter jet procurement process
1- When will the Parliamentary Budget Officer conduct a full-cost assessment of the lifespan costs of these fighter jets? While the purchase cost may be $19 billion, the full cost over 30-years has been estimated by community activists at $76.8 billion.
2- Will a calculation be made on the greenhouse gas emissions from this fleet of 88 fighter jets? A basic calculation would suggest the fleet could consume 3.94 billion litres of fuel. At COP26 in November 2021 there was a call for transparency in military emissions.
3- The current fleet of CF-18s has conducted an estimated 1,598 offensive bombing missions over the past 30 years. Murray Brewster of CBC News has reported on DND’s refusal to disclose the casualty figures from its bombing missions in Iraq and Syria. Will a comprehensive report on casualties be released before billions of dollars are spent by Canada on new warplanes?
4- At what point and how will the United States grant its “ultimate certification” of the Canadian government’s choice of a fighter jet? Lee Berthiaume of The Canadian Press has reported: “American officials will need to certify the fighter jet Canada buys at the end of a multibillion-dollar procurement [process].”
5- Reuters has reported: “Finland has chosen U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighters to replace ageing F/A-18 combat jets… 824 million euros will be reserved for the final optimised weapons package and to control future contract amendments.” How much will Canada spend on missiles and bombs for its new fighter jets?
6- Dene Su’lene’ land defenders have stated: “In 1952, we were forcibly evicted from our homelands [so that the Cold Lake base could be constructed].” By October 2001, the Band Council of the Cold Lake First Nation signed a $25.5 million that would allow the military base and weapons range to continue. This amounted to $35 for each acre of the weapons range and $2,500 for each band member. In August 2020, the Canadian Armed Forces statement announced that $9.2-million would be spent on the design of a new fighter jet facility there to house Canada’s new fighter jets. What will be done to return these stolen ancestral lands to the Dene Su’lene’ peoples?
7- Canada’s current fleet of CF-18s intercept about 6-7 aircraft each year 100-200 nautical miles from its coastline (in international airspace, not Canadian airspace), but have conducted approximately 1,598 bombing missions over Iraq, Syria and Libya. This raises the question: What would be the primary mission of Canada’s F-35s?
8- Will there be a parliamentary debate on all of these issues prior to the contract with either Lockheed Martin or Saab being signed in 2022?