With the wave of an imperial hand Harper sprays himself with teflon.
Asked Sunday in Cartagena, Colombia, whether the government lied about its estimates, Harper again focused on the cost to buy the planes.OK. If the numbers have been so "well known for some time" one would have to ask why he forced an election on the country when he refused to provide them?
"The numbers you talk about are different numbers costing different things. The number that I have talked about is the number we have budgeted for the acquisition of the F-35," he said.
"Other numbers cited ... obviously have to do with not just the acquisition of the F-35, but operations of the F-35. There's more than one number, there's more than one cost depending on what you're counting. These things have all been well known for some time. But in terms of our numbers, we've been very clear — we are going to operate within the budget that we have set."
As far as living within the budget that they have set, well, that raises another question. What budget? If you don't include the life cycle costs of the F35 purchase then you have no idea how to create the RCAF envelope for the Canadian Forces estimate annually. That is, after all, why we have life cycle costs in the first place.
An accountant would take Harper to the woodshed for a statement like that. The only way a business or a government can determine the cost-effectiveness of a piece of equipment is to determine what it will cost over its lifetime. That's why government regulations require a full life cycle cost estimate.
I wonder, does Harper know any accountants?