Reality Check: Can Canada pass on the F-35s with no impact? – National

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau says a Liberal government will cancel the planned purchase of the controversial F-35 fighter jets and instead invest that money in the Navy.

He said over the weekend that there would be no penalty for not buying the F-35s, and maintained on Monday that Canada is under no obligation to do so.

“There is no contract right now for the F-35s,” Trudeau said. “We were part of the international community contributing to the development of it and got jobs through it, but we were never obliged to actually purchase the F-35s.”

But is that correct? Yes and no.

Canadians companies wouldn’t lose current projects, but they wouldn’t be able to bid on huge amounts of future opportunities.

Canada is part of an international group that’s building a slate of F-35 fighter jets. As part of that coalition, Canadian companies are able to bid on, and have received, hundreds of millions in contracts. In a 2014 report, Canadian companies have received $637 million so far.

WATCH: Justin Trudeau was asked Monday to explain how Canada could pull out of a deal to purchase new F35 combat fighters without penalty

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And they could win at least $10.6 billion over the next 25-40 years – if Canada buys the jets.  If the government chooses to withdraw from the program, they would lose out on those contracts.

“If we withdraw from that program then Canadian companies would no longer be eligible for that work,” Dave Perry, a senior analyst at the Global Public Affairs Institute, said in an interview Monday.

But if Canada buys a different plane instead, that loss could be offset.

“If you went another route and acquired a different aircraft using the traditional model using a dollar-for-dollar offset, you could guarantee a potentially higher dollar-value worth of work that would accrue from whatever Canadian industry would do in support of those acquisitions,” Perry said.

Canada’s defence procurement rules force foreign companies to invest 100 per cent of the contract’s value in Canada, Michael Byers, a Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia said during an interview.

Two Lockheed Martin F-35B aircraft fly in formation on Nov. 10, 2010 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Lockheed Martin – Andy Wolfe

So if a foreign company wins the contract, that money is still getting to Canada.

“So put it head to head, the benefits that the Harper government says it’s going to get from the F-35 in terms of industrial development, versus the industrial regional benefits, the normal system, out of competition, and I suspect they’re pretty even,” Byers said.  “They’ll come to Canada, those $10 billion regardless of which plane is chosen.”

Montreal, which includes Trudeau’s riding of Papineau, would be among the cities most affected by the government not buying the F-35s.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper, whose government initially pledged to buy 65 F-35s before backing out in favour of a review, didn’t hold back when criticizing Trudeau for his announcement, saying Trudeau’s plan would lead to lost business and shows a “profound lack of understanding in the Canadian economy.”

“The Liberal Party is living in a dream world if they think we could pull out of the development project of the F-35 and not lose business. I don’t know what planet they’re living on,” Harper told reporters while taking questions in St. Jacob’s, Ontario, Monday morning.

“This is incredible the Liberal Party says they want to create jobs, build our manufacturing sector. The single, biggest, direct thing the government of Canada does in the manufacturing sector we do is government procurement, and particularly we do defence procurement.”

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NDP leader Tom Mulcair too was critical of the Liberal leader saying his announcement was “one of the more surprising things that I’ve heard Mr. Trudeau say.”

“When he says things like that, he’s just showing his total lack of experience. That’s just not the way these things work,” Mulcair said. He did not, however, say whether the NDP would go ahead with buying the F-35s.

And Byers echoed Mulcair saying writing off one plane for political purposes is a bad decision, suggesting instead Lougheed-Martin, the maker of the F-35, should be able to compete in an open bidding process.

“I think that Justin Trudeau has made a mistake here, I think the next government, or the Harper government… shouldn’t rule out any one plane based on its own political assessment,” Byers said.

Follow @jamesarmstrong7

With files from Bryan Mullan 

Three arrested in Wilkie, Sask. pharmacy break in

Residents of a west-central Saskatchewan community helped Mounties capture two alleged break and enter suspects. The break in happened late in the evening on Sept. 17 in Wilkie.

Originally, police received a report that a large man dressed in black attempted to steal 2 golf bags from a shed. When he was confronted by the homeowner, the man left without the golf bags.

Minutes later, police received a report that two men had broken into the Wilkie Pharmacy.

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When officers arrived, they found some residents had grabbed a man has he was attempting to crawl out of the store through a broken front window. Mounties placed the man under arrest.

One resident had the presence of mind to drive a truck to the back of the pharmacy and block the back door. A second man was arrested without incident.

Police said the actions of the residents prevented the men from leaving with between $20,000 and $30,000 in drugs.

READ MORE: Prince Albert police charge 3 in armed robbery

A woman was also arrested after being found in a truck that was taken from North Battleford without the owner’s consent.

Richard David Bear, 26, of North Battleford, Joshua Roy Tucker, 24, of Cochin, and Angel Lee Bear, 25, of North Battleford, are facing numerous charges including break, enter and commit theft, and possession of break and enter instruments.

The two men, who are scheduled to appear Monday in North Battleford provincial court, are also facing charges of wearing a disguise with intent.

Possibility of tolls on Gardiner and DVP up for debate at city hall – Toronto

TORONTO – A report on the possibility of tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway is up for debate at city hall today.

Toronto city councillors met today at 9:30 a.m. for the first time since the fall session reconvened, with topics such as tolls and the tunnelling of the Gardiner up for debate.

Gardiner, DVP tolls

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The detailed report on possible road tolls was presented to the executive committee on Monday in an effort to offset funding, operating and maintenance costs for the Gardiner and DVP, which is seeing significant revitalization.

The report said the Gardiner currently sees approximately 164,00 vehicles each weekday from west of Spadina, 228,000 vehicles east of Highway 427 and 110,000 vehicles on the DVP north of Bayview Avenue.

“Tolling could be significantly expensive for people that use the Gardiner Expressway or the Don Valley Parkway,”said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong.

“If it’s a one off then it may be affordable, but if you got to get to work and use the Gardiner Expressway or the Don Valley Parkway, that’s $6 a day.”

Tory said he doesn’t necessarily think tolls are fair for roads that have already been paid for.

“This report is being received today and will likely be sent back for more information,” he said.

“There is not proposal on the table today to impose tolls on any road, anywhere and I guess that’s where that stands as of today.”

One suggested toll would see a flat fee of $1.25 or a distance-based fee of 10 cents per kilometre for a 30-year period.

A more expensive recommendation would see a flat fee of $3.25 or a distance based fare of 35 cents per km to recover costs in a shorter period of time.

Any excess revenue would be used to cover other transportation alternatives such as transit.

It is estimated the cost to upgrade, operate and maintain both the DVP and Gardiner would cost $5.7 billion.

The report also said tolls would reduce vehicle emissions and cut commuter times by three to five minutes.

Tunnelling the Gardiner

Seen as an eyesore and barrier to the city’s waterfront, the possibility of removing and burying portions of the Gardiner has been a persistent debate.

A report before the executive committee recommends no further analysis of  tunnelling options for the Gardiner, saying the aging expressway requires immediate attention because its elevated decks continue to deteriorate and it will be deemed unserviceable beyond 2020.

Councillor Jim Karygiannis put forward the further exploration of a potential tunnel.

“We are trying to see if it would be feasible to build a tunnel at the same time we are looking to keep the Gardiner up and running for the next couple years,” said Karygiannis.

“A tunnel would be massively more expensive and it would take substantially longer,” added Minnan-Wong.

“The tunnel is so complicated, that we would just get the approvals and permits and environmental assessments in time [when] we’re actually cutting the ribbon on the new Gardiner expressway.”

The cost for tunnelling was estimated at $2.5 billion but the report said would exceed $10 billion and that “the opportunity to undertake a tunnel for all or portions of the Gardiner Expressway has passed.”

Cities like Boston and Seattle currently have tunnelled expressways.

Mississauga teacher faces 5 more sexual assault charges – Toronto

TORONTO — A 49-year-old Mississauga teacher is facing five more charges after two more women were allegedly sexually assaulted during school hours, and police think there may be more victims.

Chinedu Okoro now faces a total of 15 charges, 11 for sexual assault and four for sexual exploitation after Toronto police said he sexually assaulted a 19-year-old student and a 17-year-old student during school hours.

Police allege that from November 2014 to January 2015, and from July 6 to July 29, Okoro sexually assaulted the 19-year-old girl.

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READ MORE: Mississauga teacher faces 10 charges in alleged sexual assaults of 2 students

Investigators also alleged the 17-year-old girl was sexually assaulted during the same time period in July.

Police announced Monday that Okoro allegedly sexually assaulted two other women during school hours, one in June 2014 and another from April 17 to June 29 of this year on four separate occasions.

Okoro was re-arrested and charged on Wednesday. He appeared in court in Toronto the same day.

Investigators said Okoro was an employee of the Toronto District School Board, working in the northwest area of Toronto.

Police previously said Okoro was most recently a teacher at C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute at 340 Sentinel Rd. in Toronto, but was also a teacher at Emery Adult Learning Centre at 3395 Weston Rd. from Sept. 2014 to June 2015.

Police believe that there may be other victims.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-3100, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活222tips杭州夜网, or by texting “TOR” and your message to CRIMES (274637).

A sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact. It includes, but is not limited to, kissing, grabbing, oral sex and penetration. To learn more about sexual assault, including how to report a sexual assault, please visit the Toronto Police Sex Crimes website.