"This is the only fighter available that serves the purposes that our air force needs."
"And we will give our air men and women the best available aircraft, which I believe is the fifth-generation, F-35"
"We will purchase the F-35. We're on record. We're part of the crusade. We're not backing down."
But these are the key quotes for me:
"Mr. Speaker, let us look at the actual contract. What the Canadian government has committed to is a $9 billion contract for the acquisition of 65 fifth generation aircraft."
"I find it sad that some in Parliament are now backtracking and talking about cancelling contracts," Harper said. "We have to take opposition threats to cancel these contracts seriously."
So there's a contract right?
"obviously we have not signed a contract"
I've always thought politicians need to credited for doing u-turns (e.g. not invading Iraq). But the Auditor General report has slammed the Canadian military procurement process, but all that does is provide a scapegoat for the Government. The Government has messed this up by having a ridiculous procurement process, ignoring all signs of the F-35 going wrong and then turned around and dumped the blame on the military - so the Government can have more control.
But, on the contract issue, stating we have a contract, then "obviously we don't". Some would say that's lying.
At least we have a chance of not getting the F-35s and spending our budget more wisely on alternatives. But clearly, it won't be the best one, so we'll be lumbering our troops with the second best.