OTTAWA - The stage is set for a parliamentary vote next week on the
Harper government's planned $16-billion purchase of F-35 stealth fighter jets.
Liberals have presented a motion calling on the government to
immediately cancel its untendered contract with Lockheed Martin to
supply and maintain 65 jets.
The motion further calls on the government to commit to holding an open competition to replace Canada's aging CF-18s.
The motion is likely to pass easily with the support of all three opposition parties but will not be binding on the government.
defence critic Dominic LeBlanc says there would be no penalty for
backing out of the purchase, and an open competition might produce a
cheaper fighter jet and create more jobs for Canada's aerospace industry.
He argues Canada is alone among NATO allies in refusing to question the skyrocketing costs of the F-35 jets.
The government maintains the F-35 is the best option available.