04 april 2012, 15h52

Opposition blames PM for jet fighter kerfuffle

Picture Bob Rae at Liberal caucus meeting Wednesday

Bob Rae is laying the blame for the stealth-fighter fiasco squarely on Stephen Harper and he's demanding the prime minister's resignation. The interim Liberal leader says Mr. Harper "lied" to Canadians during last May's election about having contractual protection against skyrocketing costs for the F-35 jets. And he says the prime minister deliberately misled Parliament as well. Mr. Rae's all-out attack on Mr. Harper follows a scathing report by Auditor General Michael Ferguson, who concluded that the National Defence Department manipulated the process, low-balled cost estimates and kept Parliament in the dark to ensure it got the fighter jets it wanted, without competition. The Liberal leader notes that the news has been full of reports of escalating costs and that both the Congressional Budget Office in the U.S. and Canada's parliamentary budget officer, Kevin Page, have pegged the costs at billions more than the $9 billion put forward by the Harper government.

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