Auditor general takes aim at Liberals fighterjet plan with new probe

By on October 17, 2019

first_imgOTTAWA — Six years after the Harper government blew up its own plans to buy F-35 stealth fighters without a competition, auditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s tumultuous attempts to buy new fighter jets.This time, the focus is expected to be on the long-term implications of the Trudeau government’s handling of the file, which includes adopting several stopgaps while taking its time on a competition to buy new planes for the Canadian Forces.Ferguson is expected to report specifically on the financial and technological costs of flying Canada’s venerable CF-18s — plus a handful of second-hand Australian jets — into the early 2030s, at which point the aircraft will be nearly 50 years old.The auditor general is also expected to train a spotlight on the air force’s problems recruiting and retaining fighter pilots.Ferguson’s report follows years of criticism of the Liberals’ decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s, which first started flying in the 1980s and were supposed to be retired by 2020.The Liberals, who plan to invest more than $1 billion to extend the lives of the CF-18s and buy 25 used Australian fighters, insist they are taking an appropriate amount of time finding replacements.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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