In 2010, new F-35 Fighter Jets were ordered by Canada’s Defence Department (the department that oversees the country’s military).The new jets were supposed to cost around $15-billion.
Now, however, the Auditor General of Canada has said that the 65 planes will actually cost $25-billion, $10-billion more than expected. The Auditor General’s office watches over Government spending.
NDP and Liberal MPs (Members of Parliament) have accused the Defence Department (part of the Conservative government in power) of “hiding” the extra $10-billion in their financial reports when the 2011 election was coming up. Some are saying that the Conservatives wanted to keep it secret so people wouldn’t see the real costs and not vote for them.
Now that it is in the open, some MPs have demanded that Canada’s Defence Minister, Peter MacKay, step down from his job.
The Defence Department has explained their position saying that their original estimate did not include many costs such as operations (day-to-day expenses), people to run the project, or a “contingency fund” (in this case, this refers to money set aside for unknown problems in the project). Some of that money was already recorded in other budgets.