(Ottawa, January 09, 2023) - As Canadian families, seniors and youth struggle with cost-of-living, inflation, a healthcare crisis and a housing emergency, the NDP-supported Liberal government betrayed yet another promise and agreed to pay Lockheed Martin - an American weapons producer - a hefty $19 billion to acquire 88 F-35 fighter jets, the Green Party of Canada said.
That is nearly $216 million per plane. With total costs expected to be over $75 billion throughout their 30-year life-span, each plane will in total cost next to $1 billion to Canadian taxpayers. A single long-range flight by a F-35 jet will release more fossil-fuel emissions than one car does in a year.
"Trudeau was elected opposing F-35, saying they didn’t work and weren’t needed. Now, in the midst of accumulating economic, health and housing crises, this is how they decide to spend Canadians’ money? By purchasing planes that don’t work and aren’t needed?" said Elizabeth May, Green Party of Canada Leader. "We need to consider our role in the world. Do we see ourselves as wanting first-strike capability - to have bombers that can use stealth capacity to bomb a nation before they see us coming? Is this F35 purchase a wise choice when we need to do far more to protect Arctic sovereignty? Even when looking at Defence needs, the F35 is a bad choice," May said.
"This is a deeply disappointing decision, one that Trudeau himself was opposed to in 2015," said Mike Morrice, Green MP for Kitchener Centre. "We can't let ourselves become accustomed to broken promises, from the Liberals or any other political party."
Minister Anand said the purchase and maintenance of the planes could contribute up to $425 million to Canada’s annual GDP.
"These are pennies in comparison to the total cost of $75 billion this purchase represents," said Jonathan Pedneault, Green Party of Canada Deputy Leader. "Looking at these numbers, one wonders just how disconnected our leaders are from the woes faced by average Canadians nowadays. These planes won’t put food on the tables or provide roofs over the heads of those in need, but they do make for a jolly nice gift to Lockheed Martin’s war profiteering corporate investors."
In comparison, based off 2022 Federal budget numbers, the government could build an estimated 376,000 much-needed co-op rental units to address the housing emergency and bring overall housing prices down. "This country is faced with existential problems nowadays and they have less to do with foreign enemies than growing inequality and the rise of cronyism in our politics," Pedneault said. "They say the F35 has one of the most advanced sensor systems in the world - perhaps that’s the one thing this Liberal government could use to get a real sense for what’s going on in this country. Sadly, just like with all too many things, they’re on autopilot instead."
Erratum - A previous version of this statement mistakenly referred to total costs of $94 billion, following an erroneous calculation that added acquisition costs of $19 billion to estimated life cycle costs of $75 billion. These already included acquisition costs.