When it comes to the federal government overstepping their budget, military procurement tops the list according to one taxpayers group. 

In response to a recent announcement that Ottawa finalized a $19 billion deal to buy 88 F-35 fighter jets, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) told True North that the price tag is double the original amount proposed. 

“The government needs to stop going way over budget with its military procurement. $19 billion is double the original price tag of replacing the CF-18s,” said CTF federal director Franco Terrazzano. 

“The government needs to make sure these costs don’t balloon further. With the massive price tag, any more cost overruns would put a huge hole in taxpayers’ wallets,” he continued. 

“In the highly competitive field of government waste, military procurement stands head and shoulders above all others.” 

On Monday, federal defence minister Anita Anand announced that the government has secured the jets for delivery beginning in 2026. This comes after the Liberal government slammed a similar deal at the lower price of $9 billion first proposed by former prime minister Stephen Harper in 2010. 

Terrazanno pointed to other military procurement debacles as indicative of a greater problem with regard to the file. 

Last year, the Parliamentary Budget Officer reported that the price to revamp Canada’s naval warships has ballooned to a whopping $300 billion. 

Originally, the cost to purchase the ships was supposed to be $26 billion while maintenance was supposed to cost $64 billion. 

As exclusively reported by True North in December, a $41 million dollar deal first struck in 2014 to acquire a torpedo upgrade kits for Victoria-class submarines has since doubled to $89 million as a result of “cost increases, obsolescence, hardware failures and hardware rework.” 

Despite the price increase, the Canadian government has indicated it will continue forth with the purchase. 

“Canada has not yet received a formal request from the United States Navy for additional funding. Though details have yet to be finalized, DND is aware that this request is forthcoming, likely in early 2023,” Department of National Defence Media Relations told True North.

“We acknowledge this issue and are prepared for a higher cost than originally expected. Based on current class maintenance schedules, we now expect upgrades will be completed fleet-wide by 2027.”