F35 Pilots to be Trained in Florida?

January-19-12

Hansard Record
Speaker : Mr. McKay
Time : 14/12/2011 14:31:37
Context : Question Period

Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, last week we watched the sorry spectacle of the Minister of Defence trying to cover up for his inappropriate use of a search and rescue helicopter.

Last month, the Associate Minister of Defence said categorically that training of the F-35s would be done in Canada. Yesterday, the chief of air defence said that they will be trained in Florida for up to a decade. For the benefit of the associate minister, Florida is not in Canada.

For just once will these ministers honourably provide the House with all of the details of the F-35 program and training?

Hon. Julian Fantino (Associate Minister of National Defence, CPC): Mr. Speaker, both the chief of air staff and I have been clear. We are planning for long-term F-35 training to take place in Canada, just as currently is done with the CF-18s.

The vast majority of Canadian F-35 pilots will be training here in Canada. It is reasonable that Canadians will do initial training with those from whom we purchased the aircraft, which has always been the case.