House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Madam Chair, could the minister tell the committee of the whole, what is the government document that gives the basis for first strike capability?

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

Julian Fantino Vaughan, ON

Madam Chair, there has been a lot of research, a lot of work and a lot of studies carried out with respect to the methodology and appropriate replacement of our aging CF-18s. A lot of these issues will be forthcoming once we have the Auditor General's recommendations fleshed out.

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Madam Chair, I asked for the document. What document does the Government of Canada have for deciding to enter into first strike capability?

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Conservative

Julian Fantino Vaughan, ON

Madam Chair, if I may, as Canada's CF-18s are nearing the end of their usable lives, we must acquire replacements for fighter capability to serve our needs.

We cannot know all of the potential threats that Canada may face in the future. However, as outlined in the Canada first defence strategy, the Royal Canadian Air Force requires these replacement aircraft. We are looking for a multi-role capability. There will be other decisions made, and those will be forthcoming.

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Sir, the question is very simple. What is the document? Where is it? You have made a decision that you want to make Canada into a first strike nation. Where is the document? Where is the basis for it?

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

NDP

The Chair Denise Savoie

Order. Again, before the hon. minister responds, I would like to remind everyone to direct their comments through the Chair to the appropriate minister.

The hon. associate minister.

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Conservative

Julian Fantino Vaughan, ON

Madam Chair, at this point in time, we do not have all of the requisite requirements detailed. Those issues will be forthcoming once a definite decision is made. That decision will be forthcoming.

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Madam Chair, am I to understand from the minister's response that the Government of Canada has no document which requires that Canada have first strike capability? Is that the answer the hon. minister is giving?

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Conservative

Julian Fantino Vaughan, ON

Madam Chair, the requirements are of a high level. They are dealing with a multi-role capability, not a strike capability per se.

The hon. member opposite may recall that we have tendered stacks and stacks of documents for the committee to review, among which would be some of these answers that he is seeking.

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Madam Chair, I just make note that we had to actually cite the government for contempt before it produced what it produced.

What the minister seems to be saying at this point is that the government, since 2006, has not had a document which requires that Canada have first strike capability. Is that correct, minister?

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

NDP

The Chair Denise Savoie

Again, through the Chair. The hon. associate minister.

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Conservative

Julian Fantino Vaughan, ON

Madam Chair, if I may, the documents the hon. member opposite is speaking about have been tendered with the committee. He is a member of that committee and I would assume that he would have read them by now.

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Madam Chair, under embargo, I might point out.

Would the minister then indicate to the House the cost of running an F-35 on a per hour basis as set out in this Selected Acquisition Report?

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Conservative

Julian Fantino Vaughan, ON

Madam Chair, I am pleased to again repeat the operative and relevant answer to the hon. member's question. We are dutifully following the recommendation made by the Auditor General with respect to certainty of pricing, costing and so forth. We intend to do that. We are committed to ensuring that we bring forward the most appropriate and finite details in order for these decisions to be made.

National Defence--Main Estimates, 2012-13
Business of Supply
Government Orders

8:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Madam Chair, I just take note and direct the minister's attention to a document called the Selected Acquisition Report, dated December 31, 2011. Therein it sets out the costs of an F-35 at $32,000 an hour.

Does the hon. minister know what the operating costs of an F-18 are?