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Canadian Wikipedia controversy
On 28 July 2010 the National Post newspaper reported that IP addresses registered to the Canadian Department of National Defence Defence Research Establishment Ottawa had been used on 20 and 21 July to try to remove text critical of the Canadian government’s F-35 purchase from the Wikipedia article on the aircraft. Repeated attempts to remove the text and add insults to the opposition were made by three IP addresses at the establishment. Martin Champoux, DRDC Manager of Public Affairs indicated it was not part of a government campaign to eliminate criticism, stating, “It sounds to me like someone was freelancing. This is not behaviour we commonly condone.” Champoux indicated organization IT specialists are attempting to track down the people responsible and that employees will be reminded about government regulations regarding personal computer use. On 31 July 2010, the Ottawa Citizen reported that the IP addresses responsible had been traced to CFB Cold Lake and on 25 August reported they had been further traced to 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters, CFB Winnipeg. “Now it’s up to chain of command to pursue that, identify the individual and determine whether disciplinary or administrative action is appropriate,” stated Canadian Forces spokesman Captain (N) David Scanlon. The individuals responsible for the edits were never identified by the Department of National Defence and no public announcement on follow-up or disciplinary action was made.
Official Opposition leader Michael Ignatieff stated on 29 July 2010 that the Wikipedia incidents show the government has “something to hide”. He added, “Instead of making the case for Canadians … saying, ‘this is why we need this plane,’ they’re playing these games with Wikipedia. If you can’t prove this case straight up and you have to resort to these tricks, then there’s something wrong with the very proposition.”
New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton publicly said on 29 July 2010, “Attempting to expunge the realities of debate. I mean what the heck is going on here? We all knew [Prime Minister Stephen] Harper operated a controlling operation, but we didn’t think he was willing to go so far as to snatch the words out of people’s mouths and pretend they never were spoken. I hope that DND are simply disavowing this practice and will put a stop to it ASAP.”
RAAF vs F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter:
In 2002 in a surprise decision the then Defence Minister announced that the planned AIR 6000 flyoff to choose Australia’s future fighter aircraft was to be effectively stopped, with the developmental Joint Strike Fighter declared to be the preferred aircraft type.
The Joint Strike Fighter is not designed to perform air superiority roles, unlike the larger F-22A, and is not well adapted to performing the long range strike role now filled by the F-111. There has been considerable adverse press associated with JSF cost overruns and project delays.
This website will post a selection of relevant articles, submissions and papers.
Australia To Upgrade Super Hornets In Sign F-35 Interest Waning
Published August 23, 2012 – Dow Jones Newswires
Australia will upgrade its Boeing Co. (BA) F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft with a new electronic warfare system, in the latest sign Canberra may be losing interest in Lockheed Martin Corp.’s (LMT) more costly F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Canadian Government Involvement
Canada has been an active participant in the JSF program since 1997, when it joined the Concept Demonstration Phase with an investment of $10 million USD.
In 2002, Canada invested an additional $150 million USD to join the System Development and Demonstration Phase. That investment granted the Department of National Defence access to a wide variety of JSF program technologies and data, new management and engineering approaches. Just as importantly it increased access for Canadian Industry to contracts with JSF.
The Department of National Defence has also received authority to join the Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Memorandum of Understanding from 2006 – 2012.
In May 2008, the Canadian Government unveiled the Canada First Defence Strategy. It clearly lays out the government’s intention to replace the current fleet of CF-18 aircraft with a Next Generation Fighter Capability. A preliminary assessment of the F-35 has been completed.
Canadian Government participation in the JSF program is strongly supported by the Aerospace Industry Association of Canada, and other government departments including Industry Canada and Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
News release, July 16, 2010. The Government of Canada today announced it is acquiring the fifth generation Joint Strike Fighter F-35 aircraft to contribute to the modernization of the Canadian Forces, while bringing significant economic benefits and opportunities to regions across Canada.
Peter MacKay, September 15, 2010. “This is the right plane. This is the right number. This is the right aircraft for our Canadian forces and for Canada,” he said. ”If we don’t make this purchase there is a real danger we’ll be unable to defend our airspace, unable to exercise our sovereignty or unable to share our responsibility to both NORAD and NATO.”
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, January 14, 2011. “I need your help making MPs from this region and elsewhere in Canada listen to reason,” Mr. Harper told workers at Héroux-Devtec, which is manufacturing door and wing parts for the F-35. “Honestly, I can’t understand how a Liberal MP from the Montreal region would want to cancel this contract. It’s unbelievable.”
Stephen Harper, January 14, 2011. “Contracts like this are not a political game,” Harper said, speaking from a blue podium with government Action Plan slogans perched in front of him and behind him. ”It is about lives and, as you well know, it is about jobs.”
Peter MacKay, February 25, 2011. ”Many figures have been circulated on the cost,” the minister said in a speech Friday before the Conference of Defence Associations. ”Let me repeat it. $9 billion. I have no idea where these other figures are coming from. They’re simply made up — or they’re guessing. If this procurement is cancelled … so another competition can be held, it will cost taxpayers $1 billion and will create an operational gap for the air force in the future.”
Stephen Harper, March 10, 2011. Mr. Harper told reporters on Thursday that he refused to “get into a lengthy debate in numbers.” “This is the option that was selected some time ago, because it is the only option available,” he said. “…This is the only fighter available that serves the purposes that our air force needs.”
Stephen Harper, April 8, 2011. “You have to understand that in terms of the F-35 costs, we’ve been very detailed with those to the Canadian public,” Harper said after releasing the Conservative platform in Mississauga, Ont. ”A lot of the developmental costs you’re reading in the United States, the contract we’ve signed shelters us from any increase in those kinds of costs. We’re very confident of our cost estimates and we have built in some latitude, some contingency in any case. So we are very confident we are within those measures.”
Julian Fantino, November 9, 2011. “We will purchase the F-35,” Fantino asserted. “We’re on record. We’re part of the crusade. We’re not backing down.”
Julian Fantino, November 18, 2011. “There’s a plan A, there’s a plan B, there’s a plan C, there’s a plan Z and they’re all F-35s,” he said.
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