OTTAWA — The politics of military procurement preoccupied the federal leaders Monday as they fired rhetorical missiles at each other over the future of Canada’s ill-fated attempt to buy new fighter jets.
Stephen Harper and Tom Mulcair both blasted Justin Trudeau for announcing a day earlier he would scrap the multibillion-dollar purchase of F-35 stealth fighters to replace the current aging fleet of CF-18s.
The Conservative and NDP leaders both said it showed a lack of judgment by the Liberal leader.
Harper questioned “what planet” Trudeau was living on, while Mulcair said Trudeau was pre-judging the public tendering process.
Experts say the F-35 purchase would cost taxpayers about $44 billion over the four-decade lifespan of the Lockheed Martin jets.
The F-35 project is on hold after the auditor general offered a scathing critique of the procurement, so the military is working to extend the lifespan of the current CF-18 fleet.