Evidence of meeting #32 for National Defence in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was forces.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Bruce Donaldson  Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, Department of National Defence
  • Kevin Lindsey  Assistant Deputy Minister, Chief Financial Officer, Finance and Corporate Services, Department of National Defence
  • Dan Ross  Assistant Deputy Minister, Materiel, Department of National Defence

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Thank you.

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair James Bezan

Thank you time has expired.

Ms. Moore, the floor is yours.

March 13th, 2012 / 11:55 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

My questions go more specifically to the Associate Minister, Mr. Fantino.

I would like you to tell me clearly if you or someone from your department expressed to Lockheed Martin your concerns around the increase in the costs of the F-35 aircraft.

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Julian Fantino Vaughan, ON

If I can address it in a broader way, we—all of us, the partners in the project that for Canada goes back to 1997—have been very active, engaged, and involved in every aspect of the joint strike fighter program going forward.

Our recent meeting in Washington brought all of the partner nations together, as well as the industry, Lockheed Martin. We all share the same issues with respect to the stability of the program, but more importantly, what came out of that meeting is the absolute renewed commitment by all the partners to continue with the program. It served a very useful purpose in that we were able to touch base with respect to mutual issues and concerns. No one's pulling out, and even though there is some reprofiling of the production, if you will, for obvious reasons, we don't expect that the reprofiling will significantly impact the costs of those aircraft, were Canada to actually order them. We have not ordered them.

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

What, in your opinion will be the exact purchase cost? How much does Canada currently plan to pay per aircraft?

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Julian Fantino Vaughan, ON

We will be expending the allotted amount of $9 billion for the acquisition, if we are going to go there. We are not in a position to be specifically able to give you that definitive figure at this time. That decision will be made if and when those factors are known to us, and the decision will be made as to whether or not Canada will actually enter into a contract to purchase the F-35.

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Yes, but it does make us wonder. We know that the costs may change later, but we would like to know how the situation has developed.

I think that Canadians want to know how much Canada is going to pay per aircraft, at this time.

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Julian Fantino Vaughan, ON

I think the only factual answer that can be given at this point in time is that the Canadian government has allocated $9 billion to ensure that our men and women in the air force and in the military are afforded the best equipment possible to do their jobs. We are part of the joint strike fighter program. We are all monitoring the situation. Decisions will yet have to be made. Those definitive numbers are not known at this time, but we will work within the envelope to ensure that the men and women get the best equipment at the very best consideration for taxpayers.

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

When, approximately, will we know the figures?

Noon

Conservative

Julian Fantino Vaughan, ON

Well, we will hopefully know within the next little while. We can't give you that definitive number now, but we can tell you that we are confident that Canada's role in the joint strike fighter program, along with our partners, is working very diligently to ensure that—

Noon

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

I apologize for interrupting—

Noon

Conservative

Julian Fantino Vaughan, ON

Excuse me, I'm not finished yet.

May I finish, Mr. Chair?

Noon

Conservative

The Chair James Bezan

Time is getting compressed quickly.

Would you please show respect to our witnesses?

Noon

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Okay.

Noon

Conservative

The Chair James Bezan

Go ahead, Minister.