Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and thank you to the minister for being here today.
The New Democrats were happy to see that the defence review was set in the context of a foreign policy statement as well, but on both of these statements, I have a question about resources. We saw no increase in the foreign aid budget or diplomacy budget. While there were very large numbers kicked on the military, most of those numbers are far down the road and are for equipment purchases. When you talk about fixing defence in the review, I looked at the short term, and what we see is that the funding for the Canadian military, even under your proposed things, certainly does not keep pace with the rate of inflation from where military spending was in 2012. Even if we start with 2016-17, it will barely keep pace with inflation over the next four years, or up to and through the next election.
My question really is: since the Canadian military is being asked to do more things—we're talking on the mission in Latvia, we have a potential peacekeeping mission, and we've talked about several other training missions that Canada might be involved in—how can the Canadian military be expected to keep up this pace of operations when they have no new real dollars in their operational budget this year or next year?