Afterburned: the fight over fighter planes heats up· September 22, 2015
Media attention was focused on several fronts yesterday. The NDP and LPC continue to trade barbs over, well, just about everything. The CPC found itself in hot water with the family of Terry Fox because of Conservative MP James Moore’s suggestion that they were enthusiastic about the party’s pledge to match Terry Fox Run donations if re-elected. They were not.
Trudeau announced an LPC government would scrap the purchase of F-35 fighter planes, with Harper countering that Trudeau was living in a dream world. Mulcair also came out strongly against the unilateral move as well, suggesting it would be improper to exclude the F-35 from bidding.
This unexpected tussle over military procurement has been partly provoked by news the largest procurement project in Canadian history is going sour. The LPC will continue to hammer at the NDP for not agreeing to scrap the controversial program. Trudeau wants to see the cash go to the Navy, and Mulcair has suggested in no uncertain terms the RCAF’s aging CF-18 jets need replacement. Again, the LPC is moving aggressively to the left of the NDP.
Up for Debate, a panel on gender justice and equality, was held last night and by all accounts was a well-attended and important forum for women’s issues. An innovative setup involved playing interviews of the party leaders (except Harper, who declined to participate) in conversation with esteemed journalist Francine Pelletier. Thehighlights are worth a view.
Today, the story to watch will be military procurement. The ongoing tussle between the NDP and LPC is providing a unique opportunity ahead of Thursday’s and next Monday’s debates to place foreign affairs as an issue voters think about on Oct 19th, which is rare in a Canadian federal election. The last Canadian election to feature this much talk about Canada’s place in the world was in 1963, when Canadians debated nuclear weapons on their soil.