From Mexico to orange juice and F-35s

To the Expositor:

Back from three months in Mexico and catching up on the news in Harper-land only to find it’s the same old, same old. Busy dismantling our environmental laws to keep big business funders happy. Still pretending to be sound fiscal managers during these difficult times.

A $10-billion discrepancy between what Peter McKay stated as the cost of F-35 fighter jets and the actual cost of our much needed (tongue in cheek) F-35 jet fighters. Hard for most of us to get our heads around that one as few of us have ever dealt in those kinds of numbers. We, on the other hand, have all had a glass of orange juice. But not the $16 orange juice Harper Conservative Minister Bev Oda had the pleasure of drinking at our expense. When it comes to a $16 orange juice we all get it. We all know we are being taken by our good (tongue in cheek) fiscally conservative Harper government.

Dishonesty to the tune of $10-billion isn’t nice, maybe, but a $16 orange juice, now that’s downright offensive. That explains why, when reimbursing taxpayers for part of her costs, Bev Oda apologized to Canadians (even if she left the unnecessary $1,000 per day limousine on her taxpayer paid bill) she did pay us back for the orange juice.

Harper Conservative Minister Peter McKay, on the other hand, blamed the $10-billion F-35 mistake on “accounting differences,” which is like blaming a car accident on the car. Yes this is the same Mr. McKay who has army helicopters fly him in and out on his fishing vacations.

In both cases, the Harper Conservative government has (essentially) said ‘There is no scandal here, because once we got caught, we fixed it.’ I guess that makes them the nation’s leading experts on unreported crime.

The only good news is that the relative clarity of Ms. Oda’s OJ scandal makes the Conservatives mishandling of the untendered F-35 file that much clearer.

The only real difference between the two scandals is that the Conservatives apologized for the orange juice.

If you’re still trying to grasp the F-35 screw-up, the following comparison may help: $25-billion could buy Ms. Oda 1,562,500,000 glasses of Tropicana.

Gary Champagne

Spring Bay