On March 3rd Ceasefire.ca supporters responded en masse to Be Heard – No Stealth Fighters! Over 3500 letters have been sent so far!
Ceasefire.ca has already received responses from several Members of Parliament.
Nycole Turmel, M.P. Hull-Aylmer and interim Leader of the Official Opposition (NDP) wrote:
The F-35 procurement process has had so many problems that the Conservatives do not even know how to defend it anymore. It’s always one new problem after another with these jets, including safety issues, skyrocketing costs and delivery delays. It has also become clear that all of the countries that were considering purchasing the F-35, including Israel, Australia, Japan and Turkey are reconsidering their orders while the U.S. has reduced its original order. Canada is the only one continuing its crusade towards this reckless, irresponsible expenditure.…
Again, thank you for writing. Rest assured that our team will continue to challenge the reckless behaviour of the Conservatives on this F-35 file.
Elizabeth May, O.C., M.P. Saanich-Gulf Islands and Leader of the Green Party wrote:
As a Member of Parliament, I see this project as a lost opportunity to reduce poverty, create green jobs, protect health care and fight climate change. Rather than spend $16 billion on F-35s, we need money allocated to affordable housing programs, environmental science and assessment, renewable energy, affordable daycare, the extension of EI benefits, grants to post-secondary students, poverty reduction, a green manufacturing fund among many other initiatives to help Canadians. Also, to limit the amount of debt and move towards a sustainable economy. We do need a new aircraft, but they should be chosen through a competitive process and should focus on the needs for search and rescue, surveillance, and should be twin engine planes. In other words, we should only purchase jets that meet Canada’s needs.…
I will continue to raise this issue in the House of Commons. I also recommend that you continue to write Conservative MPs. As well, letters to the editors of local and national publications expressing your dissent will be effective in assuring protests against this waste of resources will succeed.
Paul Dewar, M.P. Ottawa Centre (NDP) wrote:
New Democrats agree that this decision has raised concerns that can’t be ignored. Not only have Canadians not been told what the F-35 jets will cost or when they’ll be ready; but we continue to learn about deficiencies — these jets cannot be refuelled mid-air with existing air force equipment, they cannot land on short runways in Canada’s North, and now we learn that our brave pilots will not be able to communicate while patrolling our Arctic airspace.
Prime Minister Harper has to face the facts: his blind commitment to the F35s is wrong for Canada.
Jim Smith, Constituency Assistant to Michael Chong, M.P. Wellington-Halton Hills (Conservative) wrote:
As with all departments, National Defence has been asked to find at least a 5% reduction in spending over the next few years to meet the deficit reduction targets and those reductions will be reflected in the budget to be released later this month.
The Government of Canada has committed $9 billion to the acquisition of the 65 F-35 aircraft, associated weapons, infrastructure, initial spares, training simulators, contingency funds, and project operating costs. The $9 billion cost, spread over a number of years, falls within the reduced Department of National Defence programmed budget and will provide a replacement for the CF-18, which has been extended significantly beyond its original planned life. Delivery of the new aircraft is expected to start in 2016.
Bob Rae, M.P. for Toronto Centre and Leader of the Liberal Party wrote,
The Liberal Party has repeatedly called for the Harper Government to cancel the F-35 stealth fighter deal and hold an open competition to replace Canada’s CF-18s.
When families are having a hard time making ends meet and the Conservatives are already running record deficits we need better oversight to prevent billions of dollars of waste on these massive untendered contracts. The Liberal Opposition has been raising questions about this deal for over a year, which Stephen Harper has refused to answer. The only responsible course of action is to cancel this $16-billion dollar deal before taxpayers are left on the hook for billions of dollars more in needless waste.
We need an open debate about whether these are the right planes, make sure we’re getting them for the right price, and make sure that they will provide Canadian jobs equal to the level of our investment. It is important to point out that there is no penalty for cancelling the current deal and holding an open competition for our next fighter jet.