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Green Party Leader Blasts Government over Aurora Surveillance Aircraft

Dec. 19, 2007, New Glasgow, N.S. - Green party Leader Elizabeth May says many questions remain about Ottawa's plan to keep 10 of Canada's 18 maritime surveillance planes flying until 2020.


December 19, 2007
By Canadian Press

Dec. 19, 2007, New Glasgow, N.S. – Green party Leader Elizabeth May says many
questions remain about Ottawa's plan to keep 10 of Canada's 18
maritime surveillance planes flying until 2020.

Elizabeth May says she first wants to know what impact the
decision will have on Canada's  search and rescue capabilities.

On Tuesday, Defence Minister Peter MacKay- Nova Scotia's
representative in the federal cabinet – confirmed 10 of the nearly
30-year-old Aurora aircraft will be refurbished, including some
upgrades at IMP Aerospace near Halifax.

There were reports Ottawa was leaning toward cancelling further
upgrades in favour of replacing the CP-140s with new aircraft _ a
move that would have cost jobs in Nova Scotia, causing political
grief for MacKay.

The minister says the latest plan with “capitalize'' on the
nearly $955 million the federal government has already spent
refurbishing the CP-140s, but May is arguing the ruling Tories have
broken a promise to upgrade all 18 aircraft.

As well, May wants to know if the Defence Department has already
decided to buy new aircraft and whether studies have been done to
show such a move would be more cost effective than refurbishing
every Aurora.