And we were the Norwegians last night.
In any case, I will start by commenting on the F-35s. I appreciate your comments on the F-35s. I hope you'll appreciate that the circumstances in Norway and the debate in Norway are in a context that is different from the one here in Canada. For the past couple of decades we in Canada have not had a defence white paper in which to frame and provide context for these discussions. We haven't had a proper procurement process, so there's been no statement of requirements that might flow from a white paper. We don't even have any sense coming from the government of what the appropriate number of planes might be for the defence of Canada, much less any clear definition of what their purpose would be. And there's been no tendering process for the contract.
I think I heard you talk about the experience that Norway has had in comparing the different options for fighter jets. We've had none of that in Canada. That, I think, is a critical context to set for the debate we're having in Canada. Of course, within that context, we hear much the same. You are still confronting many of the same issues in your own internal debates about whether it's the right thing to do, about what is happening with, essentially, the security of the development of these planes, and, in light of the American budget situation and so on and so forth, whether we are ever going to see them.
Ultimately, I hope you'll appreciate that these are different countries and our requirements are bound to be the same. You referenced your sea territory versus land territory. As a Canadian for all my life, I'm still astounded by the vastness of my own country. It takes 24 hours from where we are here to drive just across one province, and I can get down to the southern tip of the United States in the same amount of time by car. This is an incredibly vast land, and so our requirements are bound to be different from yours.
In any case, if I could take us back to the study that we are currently doing here, I read with great interest, and frankly admiration, your “Norwegian Defence Facts and Figures 2011”. It's a document we were provided by our analysts last night. What struck me was the consistent reference to a multilateral approach to defence, and you commented on these things this morning.
I was wondering if you could share with us how multilateralism assists with your concept of readiness and ensures your defence forces are ready.