After this week there will be just three sitting weeks left before the expected June 21st adjournment of the House of Commons for the summer recess.
Normally the House would resume in September however in this case there is not expected to be another sitting as the writ will be dropped in September to make way for the October election.
In other words we are entering the final three weeks of the 42nd Parliament.
As is often the case this time of year, the daily sittings will now be extended to 11 PM or midnight each day until the House business concludes.
For the Government this is always a challenging time as they must prioritize what bills they want to see passed as there will be some legislation that will not be able to get through the House in time.
There is also a new challenge where the Senate in more recent times has demonstrated an increased willingness to either amend or attempt to delay some bills.
A Bill amended by the Senate will return back to the House of Commons for further debate as opposed to receiving royal assent.
Another Government action occurring is the tender will soon be released for the replacement of our current CF-18 fighter jets.
CBC reports that the tender “was pushed back recently as federal officials amended the process of evaluating industrial benefits in order to allow Lockheed Martin's F-35 to remain in the competition.”
If you are confused, yes this is the same F-35 that the Liberals in 2015 stated “We will not buy the F-35 stealth fighter-bomber”.
The Swedish aerospace company SAAB has also expressed interest in making a bid with the Gripen E fighter.
Some have suggested that the European company Airbus may also submit a bid with the Typhoon jet fighter.
The Boeing Superhornet may be the final bidder.
It is expected that the final decision would not be made for a replacement until 2022, with no replacement fighters arriving until at least 2025.
All of this would also likely depend upon the results of the next election as military procurement policies tends to change with each new government.
My question this week:
Do you support the F-35 being included in the tender for a possible CF-18 replacement aircraft despite the Liberals 2015 promise not to do so?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.