In November the Chief of the Defense Staff along with three of Trudeau’s Liberal ministers announced they will change Harper’s plan to replace Canada’s CF-18 fighter jets. Instead of replacing them with F-35 warplanes, the Liberals plan to acquire a starting “interim fleet” of 18 Boeing Super Hornets, while they make up their minds as to which warplanes to buy.
The Liberals estimate the costs of these warplanes will be over $10-billion by 2020. This is $274 per person in this country.
The previous Conservative government set aside $16-billion to acquire the controversial F-35 jets; however at $10-billion for a small “interim fleet” the Liberal’s election promise of utilizing more cost effective measures for the fleet’s replacement may come short once the total projected costs for the entire fleet are calculated.
Both Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan and Public Works Minister Judy Foote declined to put a financial cap on the plan’s projections citing they needed time to speak with the U.S government and Boeing.
Death and destruction doesn’t come cheap. Each Super Hornet can be equipped with multiple airto- air, air-to-surface, and anti-ship missiles as well as guided and unguided bombs each with the intent of ending human life. These warplanes are designed to carry 1000 lb cluster bombs costing over $400,000 each and 2000 lb cruise missiles costing over $1 million each. Each warplane is equipped with a rotary cannon that fires ¾ in (2 cm) explosive bullets at a rate of 6000 rounds per minute. These bullets can cost as much as $5 each.
Although the Liberals and the Tories may disagree on which warplane is best fitted to Canada’s numerous wars, they definitely agree that they prefer to spend money on warfare rather than healthcare.
Shortly after the warplane announcement, the Liberal government met with the provinces to demand that they accept the Harper government’s planned cut to increases in the Canada Health Transfer. The Health Transfer has increased by 6 per cent per year, but before they lost the election, the Tories had planned to lower increases to 3 percent a year. The Liberals have announced they intend to stick to the Tory plan. The current health transfer is $34 billion a year. By implementing the Tory cut to the increases the Liberals hope to save $11 billion by 2020. Which is nearly the same amount that they intend to spend on new warplanes.
As usual our government is taking money that could fund infrastructure at home and using it to buy armaments that they will use to destroy infrastructure overseas. We need a working class alternative to the corporate parties and their endless wars.