Friday, March 11, 2011

Details Lacking On Jet-gate

Kevin Page disagrees with government forecasts of maintenance for our yet to be purchased fighter jets, especially between the years 2030 and 2040. According to Page, this project is supposed to cost us $30 billion dollars over 30 years. Thank you Taber and Ibbitson for collaborating on a piece that once again makes no mention of how much we pay in maintenance for our current air force annually. Let's pretend we don't buy the F-35s and we keep the F-18s until 2040. What will be the total maintenance bill? For all the media stories about F-35s, this is one question that no journalist seems able or willing to discuss.

This is what annoys me about Jet-gate, all these stories insist on talking about a 30 year period as though the entire sum is coming out of the next budget (by the way, Page's estimate averages out to $1 billion per year which seems very reasonable for 65 stealth fighters). Also, they don't discuss if maintenance on the new jets will be more or less than the ones we already own. Kevin Page is making estimates for maintenance costs 30 years from now. 60% of Page's estimated costs are "sustainment costs". Buying the planes will cost substantially less than $30 billion. He is estimating maintenance cost 30 years from now for aircraft not yet in service. I'm sure his prediction will be exactly right....


  1. Sun news cannot come quick enough.

  2. Page will probably be long gone in 30 yrs so will never have to admit how wrong he is. Who can tell what the costs of something will be, if bought in 7 yrs hence, for maintenance or whatever.
    Sort of like trying to predict what it will cost to raise a child, born in 2017 will cost to raise and educate, yesterday. Did anyone do a cost of buying submarines and their operational costs, and they are still not working. Maybe Page should do a study on that useless expense, by the liberals, without debate in the HofC.
    How about a review of what it cost taxpayers for the one promise JC kept, cancel the helicopter deal.

  3. Iceman, this article may interest you and your readers:

    I recommend you read the comments also, for more information.

    I'm going to post the link at Alberta Ardvark's because he's also done a post on Kevin Page's exaggerated cost estimates.

    I realize Kevin Page has an important role to play, but it was my understanding that he was to report to Parliament, especially to committees overseeing such expenditures. Instead the guy has become a media wh#re. I'm sorry, but there's no other word for him.
    -- Gabby in QC

  4. I too am tired of seeing Page on the talk shows
    explaining why the government figures are always wrong. The Finance department has a host of economists, with the very latest SC data to advise and help guide the elected government, currently a Conservative government. Page is not minister of Finance, if he wants to be the chief financial critic, he should run for elective office, or get a permanent gig on CBC.
    How big a staff does he have to analyze data?
    With respect to the F-35 issue it would help if he would produce figures on the same time frame as the government. Does he ever talk to government financial officials, rather than running to the first open microphone?