House of Commons Hansard #13 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was military.

Topics

Supply
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, those 5,000 troops are going to get on the sharp edge as well as the 3,000 reserves. Both of them will be integrated into the needs of our armed forces in order to carry out the complex duties that they do across the board.

The member knows full well that we can only do that if we have a balanced budget. The government has been able to have a surplus or balanced budget and the strongest economy of any of the OECD countries. That is something to be proud of. The only way we will be able to support our military is to have a strong economy. That is our commitment.

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4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am really pleased to speak in the debate today. I think I should repeat the motion that our party has put before the House so that members will know where my comments are coming from. The motion states:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government's national defence policies are seriously out of date and funding has fallen dramatically short of what is needed to meet defence commitments, the combat capabilities of the Canadian Forces have been permitted to decay and the government is continuing this trend by proposing to raise a peacekeeping brigade at the expense of existing combat ready forces; and accordingly,

This House call on the government to commit to maintaining air, land and sea combat capability by ensuring that members of the forces are trained, equipped and supported for combat operations and peacekeeping, in order to enhance Canada's status and influence as a sovereign nation.

The one thing I would like to say is that whatever members of Parliament from all parties, and that goes for Canadians from all parts of this country, believe about the Canadian military, they believe one thing and support one thing. If we are going to send our serving men and women into harm's way they deserve the people and the equipment necessary to do the job on our behalf as safely as possible. Canadians right across the country agree with that. The members of all political parties agree with that. There is no argument about that.

I believe the facts have to be looked at, the facts on what has happened over the past 11 years with the Canadian military. It has to be examined and it has to be differentiated from the statements made by various ministers of the government and by members of the Liberal Party throughout this debate and over the past couple of weeks. I think it is really important to look at both and to see the differences that we have.

To provide our country with the people and the equipment that we need for them to do their job safely, we have to increase spending. There is no other way of doing that. We have to do others things, but we have to increase spending.

The Liberal government keeps repeating that it has done that. Even though it keeps repeating the line that it has increased funding to Canada's military, it does not make it so. Let us look at the facts.

First, the government has cut $20 billion from defence spending over the past 11 years. Second, in terms of personnel, when that government came into power we had a military of roughly 80,000 effective strength. Now we have 52,000 effective strength. That is a fact, no matter what the government says.

Yes, our forces been provided with some new equipment, but while they have some new equipment, there are glaring shortfalls in the equipment they have. We tend to point to the most obvious examples, such as the Sea King replacements, the problems with the refurbishing of the subs and the lack of supply capability, supply ships and so on. We tend to point to those types of things, but a part of that equipment deficiency, which is much less obvious but every bit as important, is the maintenance and repairs needed to ensure that the other equipment, which is often extremely old, is safe, usable and in reliable condition. That is rarely referred to and rarely talked about.

As I said, to do all that requires money. The Liberals say that they are spending all the money needed. By the military's own calculations, the money that the Prime Minister has promised, $7 billion roughly, is only one-quarter of what the military itself says is needed.

As we know, the top brass in the military answers to government. They will not be going around saying things against the government, the elected representatives of the people. In spite of that, the number the military gave, the minimum needed to provide what is necessary, is four times what the Prime Minister has promised, not that he has delivered but that he has promised. Clearly, there is a huge gap of many billions of dollars.

The fact is that we need the money. Let us look at Canada relative to other NATO allies. I think that is a good measure of where the Canadian military is really at, a good measure of what the Prime Minister, the parliamentary secretary and others on the other side have said.

Canada spends about 1.2% of GDP on its military. The NATO average is somewhere over 2%. That is a huge gap. The Prime Minister, the defence minister and others have stood in the House and said that Canada is one of the largest military spenders in the world, but what they do not say and what the facts are is that Canada, in terms of percentage of GDP, is in fact the second lowest of all the NATO allies. That is the truth but we do not hear that from the government, which is unfortunate.

The money is important because of what it provides. What it provides, what it could provide and what it will provide when we form government is the people we need and the equipment they need to do their jobs as safely as possible on our behalf because they work on our behalf.

Is it only the Conservative Party that says the money being provided is very short of what is required? Not at all. I was a member of the House of Commons committee that tabled a report about a year ago or so. The majority of members of that committee were Liberals, including the former defence minister. What did that report say? That report said almost exactly what the Conservative Party says, that we have to move spending toward the NATO average. It said that right in the report. The Liberals, Conservatives, all parties agreed to that.

Within the last two years a Senate committee said virtually the same thing, that government simply was not providing what was necessary to give us the military that we needed to do the job that we were asking them to do year after year on behalf of our country.

The military itself has said that it needs more. We need only look at its proposals laying out what it needs to provide just what the government said should be provided on behalf of our country, in the 1994 white paper and in some more recent statements than that.

There have been various other independent studies that have said exactly the same thing. The government simply is not spending the money necessary to give us the people and the equipment that can provide what we ask our military to provide. I do not think there is any doubt about that. That is simply a fact.

I will quickly mention this new 5,000 member peacekeeping force that the government talks about. This sounds really good. The problem is, the money has not been provided. The problem is, we cannot send people who are not combat capable and trained and with the equipment they need, into harm's way. We have done it too many times in the past. How many times does it take before we all learn? I think we on this side have learned. We cannot afford to do that any more. We need our people to be combat trained, ready and equipped whether they go into combat or not. At the very minimum, we owe them that.

Many members in the House have been taping a Remembrance Day message today in the Centre Block. Many members have gone out and said how they support the Canadian military, how they remember and give thanks to those who have served our country in the past, and I believe every member says that from the heart. However, just the words are not enough any more. We all must provide our current military with what they need to protect us and to serve us as we ask them to do.

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4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the words of my colleague and certainly was moved at the end of his speech when he talked about Remembrance Day and remembering those who have, in all too many cases, given the ultimate sacrifice to defend the freedoms that the rest of us all too often take for granted. He is so right in his statement.

It is easy to mouth the words. It is often easy for us to forget. Of course, we must always remember, lest we forget. It is so important on Remembrance Day to give thanks for those people who answered the call time and time again and those who continue to answer the call, as was the case with Lieutenant Saunders who, sadly, gave the ultimate, his life for the freedoms we all too often take for granted.

We often are forced to send our troops abroad to help protect those people who are less fortunate and who might be struggling for freedom and democracy, the freedom and democracy we all too often, as I said, take for granted. We commit troops, as we have, to Afghanistan, Bosnia and other troubled spots around the world. In the debate today I believe the central thrust of my colleague's comments was the need to ensure that whatever troops we do send must be combat capable and as well-equipped as possible. It is the least we owe our young men and women if we send them abroad to do that important work.

I want to ask my hon. colleague to comment on a poll which, I think, shows how out of step the Liberal government is with the mood of Canadians, not just the mood of the Conservative Party of Canada and the commitment that we have made in writing to our military, but the mood of Canadians. The poll came out just last week. I want to quote from a newspaper article. The headline reads “Liberals out of step with public on military” and it says:

Nearly 80 per cent of votes cast in a CanWest Global online survey supported preparation for war as the primary role of the Canadian military, with peacekeeping taking a back seat to defending Canada's borders.

Of 10,366 votes received via the Internet, 8,160 said "Prepare for war" should be the military's primary role.

The next most popular choice was defending Canada's borders--

Only 745 votes, or 7.19%, supported peacekeeping as the chief role.

That is what we are trying to get at today. Our forces need to be combat ready.

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4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, actually I have not seen the poll. I have not even heard about the poll, but it must have been at least 8,000 or 10,000 people in total, and that is a huge poll. This will accurately reflect what Canadians really believe. I am not surprised by that.

It may sound like we are blowing our own horn, but what parliamentarians have said again and again over the past five years in particular, is that the need to have a combat capable military is sinking in with the general public. They are thinking about it and they have come to understand what the government will not acknowledge. The government understands it. I do not believe for a minute that the government does not understand what is necessary, but it is simply not willing to make the tough decision when it comes to how taxpayer money should be spent. It is just unwilling to make those tough decisions and that is the saddest commentary. As a result, it says the peacekeepers are good enough.

As the member said, we absolutely owe our serving men and women, at the minimum, the capability to defend themselves under any imaginable circumstance that may come upon them. The one thing that is predictable about going into an extremely unsettled situation is unpredictability. Let us give them all we reasonably can to defend themselves and to be safe in whatever situation.

God willing, when they go into a situation that they think is a peacekeeping situation, whatever that means, that it will be that, but too often in the past it has not. It has been a combat situation. Combat is necessary to stabilize the situation, and so many times that provides for people of that area, that country, some stability they have not seen for an awful long time, a chance to move ahead and a chance to become a free and democratic nation. Let us give them that and let us give that to the countries we are out to help as well.

Business of the House
Government Orders

October 21st, 2004 / 4:40 p.m.

Beauséjour
New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There have been discussions among all parties and I believe if you were to seek it you would find unanimous consent for the following motion:

That, at the conclusion of Oral Questions on Friday, October 22, 2004, the House shall hear a brief statement by a representative of each party to pay tribute to Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier.

Business of the House
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4:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the House
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4:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

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4:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Chatters Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join in this debate on our supply day motion from a couple of different perspectives.

Certainly from the perspective of a member of Parliament, in my riding I represent the only two armed forces bases in Alberta. There is the Cold Lake air base, which is world renowned for its Maple Flag operation, which brings countries from around the world to the best facility in the world for training and practising among air forces in the work they do flying and training for combat capability. I also represent the Edmonton garrison, of course, which is one of the Canadian super bases and certainly a base that continues to deploy soldiers around the world.

I speak from both of those perspectives because in just the few short months that I have been the member of Parliament for Westlock--St. Paul, which is now Battle River, the file in my office from Canadian Forces personnel is by far and away the largest file, with both current and retired members of the forces contacting my office.

I am sure that my colleague who just spoke and who represented the Cold Lake area before I did probably had the same experience. Certainly the amount of mail we get and the problems we recognize I think indicate just how serious the morale situation is in our Canadian armed forces and how abandoned by the government the members of our forces feel. I want to talk a little about that.

I also want to talk from a personal perspective, because my family has a long tradition of service in the Canadian armed forces, both in wartime and in the days of the Pearson peacekeeping tradition. Today my son has served for 18 years in the military. It makes me very proud as a father to support what he is doing for his country.

However, particularly in my speech I want to focus more on the enlisted ranks because I think that group has truly been let down and betrayed by the Liberal Government of Canada, going way back to the years of Pierre Trudeau and the amalgamation of the three wings of the forces and what that did to morale. It has been a constant downhill slide ever since then.

I have to say right up front how disappointed I am with the parliamentary secretary and his words and his statements, because I served in the same caucus as the parliamentary secretary for 10 years and I always knew him as a man of great principle and integrity. In his years in our caucus, he was a person who did not buckle down, who stood up and took controversial positions on things like health care because he believed in them. I believed that he was serious, that he believed what he was saying was right, yet his party sends him in here on this supply day to stand in response to almost every speaker and defend the government's position,knowing full well that the record is here, the record of his comments over the last 10 years on how Canada has treated its military.

My sympathy goes out to the member because it must be very difficult to have sold your principles to that degree: to be a member of the Liberal Party. Of course what he is doing today has to be the supreme test to see if he belongs in the Liberal Party or not. My condolences to him. It seems he does.

As I have said, I think it certainly is the non-commissioned ranks that are being shafted in the way the government is treating its armed forces. This is for a couple of reasons. Certainly the mail that I get does not come from the officer corps. Occasionally I do have a few letters from officers who, after retirement, seem to have been released from the bonds of this esprit de corps and are able to speak out. I think the officer corps has an advantage in a couple of ways.

First, the top levels of our armed forces are so overloaded that they do not face the strain our non-commissioned ranks do in doing the day to day work. We have such a surplus of officers that they do not face the redeployment pressure that I think the non-commissioned ranks do. Second, I think the officer corps has let down the non-commissioned ranks in their responsibility to stand up, speak out and defend the foot soldiers, the airmen and the seamen when they are facing the kinds of problems that they do.

I focus more on that direction because it is the families of the enlisted ranks who are being destroyed by this lack of personnel and the requirement to redeploy over and over again. It is the families of those ranks who really face that challenge and it is a huge one. If we were allowed to see the statistics of family breakdown, suicide and alcoholism in those enlisted ranks compared to the general population, I think we would be absolutely shocked and appalled at what we are doing to our armed forces personnel, who continue to be, in spite of all these things, so proud to wear Canada's uniform and stand up and represent Canada all over the world.

Second, it is the non-commissioned ranks that face the funding shortages. As an example, I will refer back to the group of servicemen who were on course in British Columbia and were awarded some $70 a day in an expense allowance. They were paid, but when they came back after the course the payment was clawed back. It was clawed back to the point where at least one of those servicemen had to mortgage his home in order to pay that back. I do not think the officer corps faces those kinds of challenges. That is why I focus on the ranks. I just think this is unforgiveable.

The parliamentary secretary actually stood up and defended and talked about the Canadians in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think it was in Afghanistan that they were recognized, where the snipers were honoured for their ability and the work they did in Afghanistan. The parliamentary secretary actually stood up and said he was so proud of them, but the government that he is speaking for today refused to allow the U.S. government to honour those guys with a service medal. Maybe he is proud of them, but his government did not seem to be proud of them. I do not understand why.

According to the Americans, they were doing an exemplary job, the best there was. Then when the Americans wanted to recognize these people on the international stage, for some reason the Canadian government did not want our soldiers to be recognized for that kind of work. It is far better to be recognized with peacekeeping medals, I suppose, but that is not what being a soldier is all about. That was really a shame.

Certainly it is again the non-commissioned ranks that face the challenges to keep obsolete equipment operational. It is the ranks that have aircraft and ships and army equipment that has to go to work. They have half the fleet cannibalized for parts for the other half in order to keep it operational. How discouraging is that? They do not have the tools. They do not have the parts. That really is demoralizing.

Here, of course, the Liberals, like they do in every department I have seen in the last 10 years, always talk the talk but never walk the walk. There is all this talk about spending money and giving money. Let us look at the shipborne helicopters if we want to see how they walk the walk. It is 11 years later and we still have not ordered the helicopters.

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4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that I did represent that part of the constituency which the member is representing now with the Cold Lake air base and I did hear from a lot of personnel over the years about some of the difficulties they were facing in trying to keep our jets flying. I did hear about the strain on the families due to over-deployment and so on. That certainly was there then, as it is now.

It is amazing to me that for the 11 years we have been here in the House we have heard that our equipment overall is continuing to deteriorate and is simply inadequate, yet so often when Canada goes to various trouble spots it is recognized as serving extremely well. When we look at why that is, I think the reason is obvious, but I would like to ask the member about his thoughts on this.

It clearly is not because they have state of the art equipment generally, and it certainly has not been the case in the past. It is because of the ingenuity and the excellent training of our military personnel. It is the people themselves who are so capable, so proud and so committed to doing a good job on behalf of our country and making our country proud that they make up for the dreadful inadequacies of the equipment. I would like the member's comments on that.

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4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Chatters Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member makes a good point, because our military people are the best trained people in the world. My son went with a crew from his squadron years ago to an international airlift rodeo in North Carolina, and our crew was one of the best in the world in spite of the fact that they went there with a 20 year old aircraft when countries like Israel and the United States flew in with brand new aircraft. Our people represented us proudly. They did great.

When the government finally does get around to providing them with new, state of the art equipment, instead of giving these highly trained service people the responsibility of maintaining and being proud of the aircraft, for political reasons the government hires civilian contractors to do the maintenance on this equipment.

Members have no idea how demoralizing that is to someone who has made a career of learning how to maintain this equipment and becoming the best in the world at maintaining it for Canada and for the Canadian armed forces. Clearly this government does not even think about that. Its first consideration is political, it is spinning, it is providing smoke and mirrors to cover up what it is doing. The government is making promises that it has no intention of fulfilling and I think that is tragic for those people.

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4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I know time is quite short so I will get right to the point. Earlier in the debate today, the deputy government House leader, the member for Ottawa--Vanier, referred to the fact that his government in last spring's budget allowed for tax exemptions for our overseas troops. When he was bragging about that it reminded me of the fact that when the Liberals brought in that policy they were in such a big hurry to try to buy votes and shore up their support among the nation's military that they did not even think it through.

First of all, the Liberals said it would be applied only to those involved in high risk missions, but they did not define what a high risk mission was. Then they said it was going to be only for those people serving in Afghanistan at Camp Julien. Then when some of us made the point that there are people on patrol in mine-infested areas in Bosnia who are certainly on high risk missions, they said they would look at extending it to Bosnia. Then it was Haiti. Even I do not know yet where they are going with this policy or whether it has been clearly defined in regard to who qualifies for it and who does not.

Has the member, in representing military people in his riding, heard about this issue? How do the people this policy actually affects feel about it?

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4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Chatters Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question. It is certainly one of the topics that I most often hear about. Not only do I hear it from people who are deployed internationally over and over again at great cost to them personally and to their families who do not qualify for that. However, there are other cases of high ranking officers who fly into these hot spots for a matter of days or hours and claim the tax exemption. The whole thing is a nightmare and there are endless concerns about it. It needs to be addressed because it is a huge issue.

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4:55 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I too want to join others who have congratulated you on your appointment to the Chair. I have enjoyed working with you over the last number of years and have known you to be nothing but fair, at least when you are in the Chair.

It is interesting today that we would be here debating the motion that is before us. As my colleague from Elmwood—Transcona mentioned earlier today, the preamble and the motion do not seem to give a clear direction as to what the official opposition was looking for. It is interesting to note, and as someone who has been here now since 1997, that often motions are written in such a way to catch the opposing parties and use something against them whether in an election campaign or in a newspaper article. We just want to have something to use against them and that so often is the case.

I would hope that was not the intent of the opposition on something so serious as proper funding for the military and ensuring safe equipment for the men and women who are in our military. I would hope that is not the case and that what we are really doing here is discussing and debating what the government's policy should be and whether or not the funding is adequate.

I will read a section of the motion:

--the combat capabilities of the Canadian Forces have been permitted to decay and the government is continuing this trend by proposing to raise a peacekeeping brigade at the expense of existing combat ready forces--

Most Canadians have a hard time distinguishing peacekeepers from combat ready. There are those who know the military and have said our peacekeepers are combat ready. They are trained individuals. They have to be combat ready for the jobs that they are doing. So we are left wondering what the heck is going on here. Is it a matter that the Conservatives are opposed to peacekeeping? I do not think so. However, I am not sure.

I want to read another section which I believe is from the Conservative's platform. It says that Canada's defence policy must reflect the global environment by balancing fiscal constraints with issues of collective security, participation in peacekeeping and peacemaking missions, and an appropriately structured military that is sustainable and sufficiently flexible to react to needs.

The Conservative Party was saying, at least during the election campaign, that it supported peacekeeping. However, if we go strictly by the motion today, we would say that it does not really support peacekeeping as compared to combat. It only supports the one and not the peacekeeping, so I have to wonder what exactly it was intending to do by the motion.

Over time we realize different parties say different things at times. Again, I have to question the reliability of what the Conservative Party has said because during the election it said the following on strong democracy:

The Conservative Party of Canada believes true democracy involves vigorous participation by all citizens in the affairs of the country.

This is extremely important. It said:

We will commit to broad consultation with citizens across Canada to further the ongoing policy development process and ensure Members of Parliament have the fullest input from all Canadians.

Yesterday the defence committee refused to meet with the people of Canada on missile defence. It sided with the government and said we are going to go along with George Bush and put in the missile defence. The Conservative Party does not care what the people of Canada have to say. It did not want to hear that Canadian citizens do not go along with missile defence because anyone with an ounce of sense would know that is the weaponization of space.

There are Republicans in the United States saying this is the weaponization of space. There is no question about it. Once again we have a situation where, rather than standing up for Canadians and what they believe in, we have the Liberal government and, as we have always said, those just like them, the Conservatives going right along together saying they do not care what Canadians say.

Before I forget, I want to indicate that I am splitting my time with my colleague from Windsor—Tecumseh.

I want to emphasize the seriousness of this motion today and the lack of clarity in the motion. I do not think there is any question that every member of Parliament and all Canadians appreciate what our military people have done for us in the past. On Remembrance Day we always make a point of taking the time to recognize the people who have been either injured or killed over the years.

Certainly we recognize the military people who support our efforts. Whether Canadians agree with the government's position and what it might be doing on a particular issue or not, Canadians support the people within the military because they know the military is acting on their behalf to promote what they want to see as Canadians. There is no question about that.

Do we need to properly fund the military? Absolutely. It is unconscionable that any government or Parliament would say that we want our troops to go on a peacekeeping or peacemaking mission in a certain area of the world where we know it is going to be dangerous because some people who will not agree with it will be jumping out at them and possibly laying bombs on the road. We would want our troops to be riding in the best armoured vehicles that would help protect them. We all know that things could happen and they could be killed, but let us give them the best of what is available.

It would seem like a basic thing to think that people who are in situations where there may be possible sniper attacks and those kind of things would all be wearing at least bulletproof vests. We give them to a good number of our police forces within our country, but do the military have them? No. That is not acceptable. These men and women are working on our behalf for our country and we are not giving them what they need.

Somehow the government's priorities would rather see money going elsewhere. Some would say that it was only millions, not billions, that was wasted in the scandal or in different patronage plums within the Liberal government. If 1¢ of taxpayers' dollars was wasted that could have provided one piece of equipment for our military men and women, it is unconscionable. For every dollar that was wasted, people should remember that possibly one life might have been saved, maybe two, and maybe more. That is what is unconscionable.

As the Conservatives said, we need to be fiscally responsible. We need to have sustainability and balance based on the environment. It is crucially important that we provide the proper funding when our men and women are going into certain operations, otherwise we should not be sending them. That is the name of the game. We should not be sending them.

I want to mention, as my Conservative colleague from Trenton did, that I had the opportunity to take part in the defence program for parliamentarians. It was excellent. I had never experienced any kind of military operation. There were no bases where I grew up or in my riding, so it was a great opportunity to see the people in the search and rescue operations in Trenton and the fact that they were still using some of the older helicopters and equipment that has not been updated.

They were doing the best they could with what they had and speaking very proudly of their force, as well as their country. As a show of respect to them, we should do the same by properly funding and equipping our men and women in the military.

Supply
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5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member from the New Democratic Party for her remarks directed at our supply day motion concerning our nation's military.

I must admit that I am little baffled. She said in her remarks that she had a problem understanding the intent of the motion. Without reading the preamble, the latter part of the motion states:

This House call on the government to commit to maintaining air, land and sea combat capability by ensuring that members of the forces are trained, equipped and supported for combat operations and peacekeeping, in order to enhance Canada's status and influence as a sovereign nation.

I do not know what could be more straightforward than that.

The problem that we have had, which has come out in debate today time and time again, is that words are cheap and to the government, all too often, lives are cheap because it refuses to commit.

The key word in our motion today is that the House call on the government to “commit”. We want to see it in writing. We want to see the money in the budget line instead of having what happened last year when the budget was tabled. The government talked about the $300 million and it hardly covered the costs of our expenses in Afghanistan and Haiti. There was nothing in new money to even address the shortfall in the ongoing operational budgets of the three branches of the forces: the army, navy and air force.

That is what we are seeking. We are seeking a firm commitment. We are tired of words. Men and women of our armed forces continue day after day to take the risks on behalf of their country. We are asking in the motion for a commitment in writing because we are tired of words.