Why did Harper get the figures wrong on the jets?

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What's this about


Parliament was still on its Easter holidays this week but they still held an emergency meeting to talk about Prime Minister Stephen Harper's 65 very expensive fighter jets.

The Opposition parties wanted to know why Harper has been saying all along that his 65 Lockheed CF-35s will cost only $ 15 billion when the real cost is $ 25 billion, according to the manufacturer Lockheed-Martin, the Parliamentary Budget officer Kevin Page, the Auditor-General Michael Ferguson, the entire American military, and just about everybody else.

Is it a math error on Harper's part, or did he forget to count a few planes here and there?

Or is it something more serious?

Nobody wants to accuse him of lying.

So why did Harper spend the election campaign repeating every day that the cost is only $15 billion?

There is a big difference between $15 billion and $25 billion, especially for a prime minister desperately looking for $5.2 billion to reduce his deficit this year.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay wasn't much help. He said not to worry about the extra S10 billion: "It's just an accounting difference," he said.

A $10 billion "accounting difference?" Is that how he explains away $10 billion? No wonder we've got a $24.2 billion deficit this year.

The Opposition demanded and got an emergency committee meeting.

But Conservative MPs on the committee kept making motion after useless motion.

The committee went around in circles and achieved nothing.

We still don't know what that "accounting difference" is all about.


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