Tony Genco and F-35s

Tony Genco is the Liberal by-election candidate in Vaughan. This week, Genco released a video criticizing Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government on their plan to purchase F-35 fighter jets.

You can watch the video here.

However, there’s a little known fact about Tony Genco. In the 90s, Mr. Genco used to be a senior advisor to Art Eggleton, the former Liberal Defence Minister. This fact is in the Hansard record.

It should be noted that Canada has been a participant and advocate for the Joint Strike Fighter Program since 1997, when the former Liberal government was in power:

Canada has been a participant in the JSF program since 1997, when the Department of National Defence signed on to the Concept Demonstration phase with an investment of US$10 million. As part of this phase, Canada participated in the extensive and rigorous U.S.-led competitive process where two bidders, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, developed and competed prototype aircraft. This process led to the selection of Lockheed Martin as the JSF manufacturer in 2001.

Art Eggleton was Defence Minister from 1997-2002. Tony Genco was his senior aide.

Why the change of heart on F-35s, Mr. Genco?

More broadly, bringing this up during this by-election campaign more broadly underscores Liberal dishonesty on the F-35 program, having signed us up for the program in 1997.

Comments

comments

  • real conservative

    I live in Art’s old riding, now of course we have Mr. Dryden, who I helped run against him in past. I know the politics here. Genco was kicked out of Downsview park because he like the Chretien and later Martin Liberals wanted wild lands there. Local conservatives pushed for a mixed use development whereby the park would be developed to its potential, a show case of sorts that all of Canada would contribute towards in one way or other. So now we have Genco running interference on the F-35, the only advanced fighter in the world and will be for at least 10 years, so Liberals can gvie the finger to conservatives. I say this: congratulate Liberals on a good decision for once on the military file and just move forward… it will surely drive Iggy crazy. (real conservative)

  • calgary_junkie

    I read in the Globe, a while ago, that Donolo’s polling reveals that the Libs can scoop up a lot of votes by taking this anti-F35 position. Since then, they have trotted out some third party advocates, who have taken their side. I think we need to line up more advocates on our side, to push back. It’s not enough to just point out their hypocricy.

  • Liz J

    Yeah, the seat is still warm from a Liberal butt. Appears the Liberal memory is both short and selective.

    The Liberals are not too swift or they would accept some of the credit for making a good decision re the F-35’s especially when there is no other choice out there to fill the need.

  • real conservative

    Valid points, our experts are better than their experts type of argument?

  • Anonymous

    From Wikipedia:

    In 1997, Canada’s Department of National Defence signed on to the Concept Demonstration phase with an investment of US$10 million. This investment allowed Canada to participate in the extensive and rigorous competitive process where Boeing and Lockheed Martin developed and competed their prototype aircraft.

    … which partially confirms your assertion:

    It should be noted that Canada has been a participant and advocate for the Joint Strike Fighter Program since 1997…

    Participant, yes. Advocate? Yes… advocate of getting into the development game, but hardly a commitment to purchase. Seeing as how the chosen JSF plane didn’t even exist at the time.

    The $10 mil in 1997 was basically the price of a ticket to sit in the nosebleeds at the JSF show, as the chosen contractors duked it out. The Lockheed-Martin X-35 “proof of concept” plane was judged the winner in 2001, and LM was greenlighted to take it to the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase.

    So… it’s now 13 years after 1997, I don’t think the US or any other partners have deployed F-35s yet, there’s controversy over the cost overruns (initial projection $50m in 2002, via $69m in 2007 to $80m in 2010, all measured in 2002 dollars)… AND there have been criticisms of the F-35’s performance and capability.

    So, not really seeing the Liberal dishonesty/hypocrisy here; $10 mil in 1997 was hardly a deep commitment to the JSF, the current economy is not what was envisioned back in 1997, and in light of the inflated price and performance concerns of the F-35… hell yeah this decision is worth revisiting. When times are tight, sometimes we have to forego next year’s Lexus, and buy some Volvo’s till things improve.

    Fun fact – 1 G8/G20 conference = roughly 16 F-35s*. Just sayin’.

    * Does not include HST, Freight, PDI or handling. Some accessories extra. Model shown is US model; Canadian model may differ. Closed track and professional driver.

  • Bec

    “Fun fact – 1 G8/G20 conference = roughly 8 F-35s*. Just sayin’.

    G8/G20? In 2010 vs 2002 minus the additional conference/ Do the math!

    “Cost of the Kananaskis G8 Summit

    •The total cost of the Kananaskis G8 Summit is estimated at $300 million, much of which goes to security.

    •The cost has been scaled back dramatically from the 2001 Genoa G8 Summit which cost $1 billion.
    http://canadaonline.about.com/od/trade/a/g8kananaskis.htm

    The thing is kenn2, some things have nothing to do with the other and your argument would be one of those things. Because you disagree with something, you find something else to set your example. However the reality is, F35’s are not related to the G’s in Ontario. The money committed could just as easily be taken from say……equalization to the Provinces…..just sayin’……

  • Guest

    There are three models of F-35, one being the SVTOL model which we are not buying. Try googling next time.

  • Anonymous

    Ah. So you approve of the Liberal$ handling of the 2002 summit. Interesting.

    Re 2001 Genoa… $1B? Wrong. With Google, like with aircraft procurement, single-sourcing is always risky.

    (Anyway the Fun Fact was just some ribbing. Lighten up)

  • Anonymous

    You are right… (the acronym is STOVL, btw)

    Think on this, though – where do you think the cost overruns are occurring? The lion’s share is not for refinement of conventional flight characteristics. All of the F-35s sold have to cover development costs, so whether or not we order the STOVL models, we’re helping pay for their development. From a technical standpoint, I find it hard to imagine how one fuselage design can optimally serve 3 different flight requirements. So it’s a very valid question whether the F-35A (the CTOL version) is Canada’s best bang for the buck.

    Other participating countries in the JSF program have expressed concern over cost and performance; some have limited their order to a couple of F-35s to test, some have even dropped their support and have selected another plane.

    There are points in the F-35s favour as well. The big point is – it’s no crime to want this expensive decision revisited and validated in light of today’s circumstances.

    I suspect we all know why the F-35 order has been placed quickly, without competitive bids: the Americans badly need the work and Harper always rolls over for them. Loyal, yes, but not exactly being fiscally conservative.

  • Liz J

    Who’s winning the battle on the stump in Vaughan these days? What’s the latest poop being spread of a historical nature on we were for it before we were against it for political reasons file?

  • Liz J

    Who’s winning the battle on the stump in Vaughan these days? What’s the latest poop being spread of a historical nature on we were for it before we were against it for political reasons file?

  • harebell

    So the passage of time and the emergence of new information from a reputable source (The Pentagon) means nothing to the decision making process hey Stephen?
    By that logic doctors should never have changed their minds to germ theory when once it was thought to be possession by demons. Damn doctors and their reliance on developments in knowledge.

    Still “politically non-partisan” I see.