This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

Evidence of meeting #42 for Public Accounts in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was cost.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Kevin Page  Parliamentary Budget Officer, Library of Parliament
Sahir Khan  Assistant Parliamentary Budget Officer, Expenditure and Revenue Analysis, Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Library of Parliament
Peter Weltman  Senior Director, Expenditure and Revenue Analysis, Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Library of Parliament
Michelle d'Auray  Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat
Robert Fonberg  Deputy Minister, Department of National Defence
Dan Ross  Assistant Deputy Minister, Materiel, Department of National Defence
François Guimont  Deputy Minister, Deputy Receiver General for Canada, Department of Public Works and Government Services
André Deschamps  Commander, Royal Canadian Air Force, Department of National Defence
Simon Kennedy  Senior Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Industry
Kevin Lindsey  Assistant Deputy Minister, Chief Financial Officer, Finance and Corporate Services, Department of National Defence
Tom Ring  Assistant Deputy Minister, Acquisitions Branch, Department of Public Works and Government Services

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Forgive me, Mr. Ross and Mr. Fonberg, but could you also include the benefits that accrue to Canada in your description of how this works, and exactly what role we play?

Thank you.

10:40 a.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of National Defence

Robert Fonberg

Absolutely.

10:40 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Materiel, Department of National Defence

Dan Ross

In terms of the joint project office, it was created in the mid-1990s under the Americans, because they were pursuing a lightweight fighter replacement for a number of fleets, F-14, F-15s, F-16s, and their Harriers used by the United States Marine Corps. They stated the requirement for a stealthy supersonic aircraft that could meet all those roles.

The JPO, the joint strike fighter program office, has grown to 1,700 people: 1,600 Americans and 100 military and civilian personnel from the partner countries. It's composed of world-class experts in aircraft design, in technology development, testing, costing, and program management. We have five full-time members in the joint project office in Washington. Our first member joined in 1998.

Thank you.

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

I appreciate the time is running out, Mr. Chair. The questions I asked regarding the costing and the estimates and the benefits, who runs it, what it does, may I through the chair respectfully request the Department of National Defence to table that information for all of us?

10:45 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP David Christopherson

Thank you.

Any problem with that, Deputy?

10:45 a.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of National Defence

Robert Fonberg

No, Mr. Chairman.

10:45 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP David Christopherson

Very well, that will be carried out. Thank you.

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Thank you very much.

10:45 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP David Christopherson

Madam Bateman, you still have the floor. You're good for a minute.

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Oh, well, then.... Okay, I'm good for a minute. Was that the bell?

10:45 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP David Christopherson

Go ahead.

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

To clarify, if I could, sir, the request that we've made in writing--and I thank you for this latitude--how does membership in this joint project office benefit Canada? That's of real interest to me. What role does the joint project office play in Canada's costing and estimates?

Now, of course I respect the bell and the chair.

10:45 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP David Christopherson

We're okay. We're not voting for a while yet. We're only down the hall, so we can conclude our time. You still have a couple of moments if you want. Are you good?

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Yes, I'm good.

10:45 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP David Christopherson

I want to ask a couple of quick questions.

I want to confirm the $9 billion to $10 billion that's available, potentially, for Canadian industry. That's a global figure, correct? Everybody participating in the development would also be available to bid on that, right? That's not just a captive market for Canada?

10:45 a.m.

Senior Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Industry

Simon Kennedy

That's an estimate of the opportunities to Canadian firms as a result of their participation in this process, given the estimated build of 3,100 planes.

10:45 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP David Christopherson

But it's not an exclusive bidding by us, is it? There is a competition that others will be participating in, isn't that correct?

10:45 a.m.

Senior Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Industry

Simon Kennedy

This is the estimated slice of the pie for Canada. The actual cost of building this and the contracts available internationally would be much larger. This is an estimate of the opportunities Canada would be able to capture.

10:45 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP David Christopherson

This is the portion of it that you believe we will get, but there are no guarantees. It's still a competition, isn't it?

10:45 a.m.

Senior Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Industry

Simon Kennedy

There are no guarantees.

10:45 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP David Christopherson

The last question is—

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Chair, the bells are ringing. I think we should get going.

10:45 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP David Christopherson

I understand that, but let me ask one more question.

I know that no money has been spent on acquisition. There has been over $300 million spent. If we don't go ahead with the development of the F-35, do we get any of that hundreds of millions of dollars back?

10:45 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Materiel, Department of National Defence

10:45 a.m.

NDP

The Chair NDP David Christopherson

Thank you. That's what I wanted to know.

With that, the bells are ringing, and our time has expired. My thanks to our guests. We appreciate your being here, especially twice in a row.

Colleagues, this meeting stands adjourned.