Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Ajax—Pickering for his response. I listened to what he had to say. There are two things that I would like to point out in the minute I have remaining.
Fist, because we are talking about economic spinoffs, I would like the hon. member to perhaps tell the Associate Minister of National Defence, who regularly mentions potential economic spinoffs of $12 billion, that even the Pentagon suggests that Canada will likely receive $3 billion in spinoffs at the very most. So, these figures are quite different from the ones given by the United States.
I mentioned that this situation has been a fiasco and this also includes the fact that no tendering process was held. While it is important to get the best aircraft, the process must also be cost effective. The construction costs are increasing, the purchase cost of the aircraft is increasing, and the picture does not look anything like the one the government is painting.
In closing, I would like to cite an excellent article about the decision-making process that was published in the January edition of L'actualité.
Canada's decision-making process is seriously flawed....The director of the research group on the military industry and security said, “the government obviously had a bias toward the F-35 because Canada had been part of the program since 1997. But that’s no reason to let the soldiers pick their favourite piece of equipment.”
Despite all the respect I have for our soldiers, it is up to the government to make the decision, not the military hierarchy. Why is the government letting the people at National Defence force this decision upon it?