Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Through you, to the witnesses, thank you for coming this morning.
General, when I listen to some of the questions, it reminds me of a conversation I had with some folks at CFB Trenton just before we were elected. I can recall one of the people who worked there telling me that the base commander didn't have enough money in his budget for simple things, such as cutting the grass and things like that.
I think we're in a different time when people talk about cutting back. Of course, that's not strange to people like me, who worked for the Ontario government for years in a paramilitary way as a police officer. Certain governments said that if you went...or our directives were that if you went over 100 kilometres in a patrol vehicle, you had to explain why because of budgetary restraints. But if anybody wants to know what the difference is between budgets, we now have a base commander whose biggest challenge is to organize a huge investment in his base.
To give folks at home a scale of what's occurring, one of the hangars being constructed for the new C-17—which I don't believe the Canadian armed forces would have other than through the election of our government—has half the steel. That building, one of the largest of its kind in Canada and for sure in the Canadian armed forces, has—to give folks the scale and the size of the building—half the steel of the Eiffel Tower and half the concrete of the CN Tower. So that's some degree....
My question's going to focus on training, in particular training in Canada's north, because it is a priority for this government and, I believe, for the Canadian armed forces. I'm wondering how the army uses the training operations in the Arctic to prepare itself, not only for domestic purposes and missions, but for missions abroad. I really don't see on the horizon any conflicts or any need for Canada...outside of our own Arctic sovereignty, which is of paramount importance to our country. Could you comment on that?
Also, I have friends who are associated with the rangers. During the training exercises in the north, how do the regular armed forces and the rangers cooperate, and what's their level of cooperation during those exercises?