Once again our duly elected government has used under handed practices to assure themselves a majority in an election. I am referring to the F-35 debacle. Now that the ballots have been counted, now that the reins of power are tight in Harper’s firm unrelenting hand, reins that he and his cohorts will hold onto for four years, the true cost of the fighter planes has come to light.
I realize that new planes are required for the men and women who take to the skies every day to defend our freedom and sovereignty and to provide them with anything less than the best in the world is doing them and us a dis-service. I don’t begrudge the staggering cost, but I do take issue with the way our government kept the amount of money we will be paying under their hat until the election was decided in their favour.
As far as I am concerned, the way they selected the fighter plane without due process of competition is another bone of contention. In all fairness they should have decided what our needs as a nation are for the next few decades, went out for tenders, and then chosen the most competitive price, instead of making an arbitrary decision.
I am not surprised at their stealth tactics, but I am disappointed by them. After all, Mr. Harper promised openness and transparency in his dealings with the Canadian people. Once again, a politician has fallen far short of the standards he set for himself and his government.
Where will he go from here? Will he do the right thing, admit he was wrong, and go out into the market place for the fighter planes, or will he tuck in his chin like most leaders do and go full steam ahead. Canadians are watching you Mr. Harper, watching and hoping that you will measure up for once. After all, you work for us, and it is about time you realized this, instead of seeming behaving like being Prime Minister of the greatest country in the world is somehow your divine right.
For the next four years we Canadians have given you stewardship over our fortunes, our lives and our destiny, and I plead with you to be a good steward. Instead of wanting to play with the big boys when it comes to saber rattling, you need, you must return to our traditional role, a role that over the years garnered us a great deal of respect in the world, that of peacekeeper instead of war maker.
I personally believe that instead of looking elsewhere for new fighter jets we should re-establish our own program. After all we once developed the best fighter plane in the world, the Avro Arrow. If it hadn’t been for our government’s dumb decision, we would now be a world leader. Instead of going out and spending billions of hard earned Canadian dollars, we could be earning billions. A plane of our own design, built by us would go a long ways to provide badly needed high paying jobs.
Because a Conservative government put an end to the Arrow, I suppose it is too much to hope for that our present leaders would ever consider doing the right thing. Perhaps we will get lucky in the next election and choose a leader with vision and integrity. Could that be Justin Trudeau? Only time will tell, until then we must pray that Mr. Harper will put partisan politics aside and guide us through the stormy seas that lie in our future.