The F-35s may be overpriced, had no oversight, and the process to acquire them might have ignored every procurement rule in the Department of National Defence, but at least the photo op announcing them only cost $47,000.
A 2010 news conference to announce Canada’s plan to buy 65 F-35 fighters cost Canadians a whopping $47,313, the Harper government revealed this week. The costs involved audio-visual services as well as hosting national media guests and high-profile political guests including Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose and Treasury Board President Tony Clement. The model F-35 itself was provided generously at no charge by Lockheed Martin, who built the model and shipped it to Ottawa “via flatbed truck” for the photo op – the least they could do, given they expect to earn the lion’s share of the $25 billion overall expected cost for the new fighters.
The Harper government has been under fire in recent months for publicly low balling the cost of the new fighter jets. A committee set up to investigate the procurement process was shut down recently by the Harper Government after just seven hours of testimony.