Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rae And Wherry: Seperated At Birth?

Bob Rae is running around calling the PM a liar, stating that there is no contract signed for the F-35 jets, and the PM mislead Canadians by saying there was. Carrying on his argument is Maclean resident nutbar Aaron Wherry, who seems to think he has irrefutable proof that Rae is correct in his assertion the PM lied. So let's take a look at what Wherry thinks is a slam-dunk against the Conservative government:

"Stephen Harper, November 3, 2010. We are going to need to replace the aircraft at the end of this decade, and the party opposite knows that. But instead, for the sake of getting the anti-military vote on the left, with the NDP and the Bloc, the Liberals are playing this game. The mistake is theirs. It would be a mistake to rip up this contract for our men and women in uniform as well as the aerospace industry.

Peter MacKay, December 13, 2010. 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.

Stephen Harper, January 14, 2011. “I do find it disappointing, I find it sad, that some in Parliament are backtracking on the F-35 and some are talking openly about cancelling the contract, should they get the chance,” Harper said at the Heroux-Devtek plant in Dorval.

Stephen Harper, today. The government has not signed a contract.

Stephen Harper, today. As I have said repeatedly, we will ensure that when we replace the aircraft at the end of this decade, and we have not yet signed a contract in that regard.

Peter MacKay, today. Mr. Speaker, as was mentioned, with no contract in place, no money misspent, and now funds frozen, we are injecting more accountability into this process.

Julian Fantino, today. We have not signed a contract to purchase a replacement aircraft.

Now pay attention to the dates of those past quotes. Now let's take a look at what was reported by news agencies March 10th,2011, including the CBC:

"In a memorandum of understanding, Canada has committed to buy 65 of the Lockheed Martin planes that are now in development and scheduled to be ready in 2016. Canada joined the JSF program in 1997 and in 2001 Lockheed Martin was chosen as the company that would manufacture the high-tech planes."

So it seems the media also referred to the deal as a memorandum of understanding, something the PM alluded to in QP when asked by Rae about the alleged lie of a contract. But can a MoU be considered a contract?

"In some cases depending on the exact wording, MoUs can have the binding power of a contract; as a matter of law, contracts do not need to be labeled as such to be legally binding.[citation needed] Whether or not a document constitutes a binding contract depends only on the presence or absence of well-defined legal elements in the text proper of the document (the so-called "four corners"). This can include express disclaimers of legal effect, or failure of the MoU to fulfill the elements required for a valid contract (such as lack of consideration in common law jurisdictions)."

That certainly ties in with what the PM has said in the past, that if the agreement was broken (failure) the Canadian jobs created under the F-35 program would be lost. That in itself looks to make the PM's comments consistent.

Of course that in itself wouldn't be enough to convince someone like Wherry that the PM never lied. So one would need irrefutable proof to show that the Liberal Party themselves knew that the agreement was in fact a Memorandum Of Understanding, and consistent in the fact it could be considered a contract.

So without further adieu, I give you the Liberal Parties position also reported on March 10th, 2011, which by the way is dated after the supposed damaging quotes from Wherry: "The Liberals say they would cancel the memorandum of understanding and hold a new competitive bid for the plane contract if they win the next election. The NDP is also opposed to the purchase, and Thursday on CBC's Power & Politics with Evan Solomon, Bloc Québécois defence critic Claude Bachand said his party no longer supports the deal.

So there you have it. The three opposition parties were against the memorandum of understanding, or is it a contract? Seems it's Rae and his party are the ones who are lying.


Pissedoff said...

Instead of making an ass of himself all the time Rea, should read the history of his new party, he would then know exactly whose signitures are on what and in this case it is a liberal one.

Gabby in QC said...

Some history from the AG's Report ...
“2.20 National Defence signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the first phase of the JSF Program, concept demonstration, in December 1997. …
National Defence felt its participation provided the chance to work with allies in developing a new fighter jet as well as opportunities for Canadian companies to be part of the design and eventual production of an estimated 3,100 aircraft (if Canada decided to purchase the aircraft).

2.21 In October 2001, the United States Department of Defense selected Lockheed Martin as the winner of a design competition held between two major industry consortia. National Defence signed the MOU for the second phase, system development and demonstration, in February 2002. …
According to National Defence, securing industrial benefits for Canadian companies continued to be a driving motivation for participation.

2.22 In 2006, the JSF Program entered its third phase: production, sustainment, and follow-on development. …

2.23 In November 2006, Industry Canada signed industrial participation memoranda of understanding with the JSF Program’s prime contractors, the US-based companies that will manufacture the jets and engines ..."

In other words, there have been THREE Memoranda of Understanding, two under the Liberals and the latest under the Conservatives. Those did not commit to a purchase but rather to three steps in the final production of the F-35s, to wit:
1. concept demonstration
2. system development and demonstration
3. production, sustainment, and follow-on development

Canada has been participating in all three phases because there are advantages to Canada's aerospace industry, although those advantages were not necessarily guaranteed:
“2.27 For the F-35 ... Industrial benefits were not guaranteed; rather, companies from partner countries were, and still are, eligible to obtain contracts, provided that the companies meet the “best value” criteria (including cost, schedule, and quality) and that the country buys the F-35 as a partner in the JSF Program.
2.30 … By 2006, National Defence estimated that Canadian companies had received 150 contracts valued at approximately CAN$157 million. …”

SO … there has been thus far no actual contract to purchase the F-35s but there has been an understanding that Canada would indeed be purchasing the F-35s, given the industrial benefits connected to that plane.
-- Gabby in QC

Gabby in QC said...

Furthermore … the opposition continues to ask for a competitive process to be held, because they claim the choice of the F-35s never involved such a process. Wrong!

Again, from the AG’s Report:
2.21 In October 2001, the United States Department of Defense selected Lockheed Martin as the winner of a design competition held between two major industry consortia
In other words, there was a competitive/tendering process, which the opposition denies ever took place, albeit held by the US.

2.36 ... in our view, sound management practices would have required that National Defence assure itself that the F-35 was a suitable, if not preferable, aircraft before further committing Canada and Canadian industry to the JSF Program. We therefore examined departmental activities in relation to identifying operational requirements and assessing how available options would meet those requirements.

2.37 These activities took place in 2005, when National Defence began an analysis of potential aircraft to replace the CF-18s. It defined preliminary operational requirements for a replacement and assessed five candidate aircraft against them, based in part on information obtained from site visits to various aircraft manufacturers. Four of these candidates were existing aircraft; the fifth, the F-35, was still being developed. In June 2006, National Defence summarized this options analysis in the Operational Requirements Concept Document (ORCD). It concluded with a strong preference for the F-35, stating, “It is not only the aircraft that best meets Canadian Forces’ requirements, with the longest life expectancy, but also is the most affordable.”

SO … other options were indeed looked at but discarded.
-- Gabby in QC

paulsstuff said...

Great info Gabby.