Thanks, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Minister, for being here today. Being from the west coast, I'm very glad to see additional funding for the search and rescue aircraft. It's very important to us.
I also thank Mr. Hoback for asking some questions about naval shipbuilding.
I think you know that the NDP remains very committed to the shipbuilding strategy, but also to seeing that strategy as a floor, not a ceiling. We know that there's other work needed for the navy that might be able to go to other shipyards.
Today we have the privilege of having some representatives of DND civilian employees from my riding here in the room with us. I'm very proud to have 1,060 Public Service Alliance members in my riding. That includes nearly 1,000 civilian employees of DND. I'm not so proud to say that 60% of them have Phoenix pay problems, and those pay problems are very serious.
We have with us today—and she's given me permission to say this—a civilian employee who is a single parent who has been underpaid for over a year and is now worried that when eventually she is paid, there will be some large lump sum payment that will have tax impacts and impacts on other benefits. Frankly, it will be almost impossible to figure out whether this person has been properly paid or not and, in the interim, she has to make hard choices for her family because she's being underpaid.
My question for you is, have you received reports from DND about the impacts these pay problems are having on the morale of people who are working there, on the time it takes away from the jobs they're supposed to be doing, on the impact to their families, and the impact on things such as employee retention? Have you received reports on those impacts? I know that you don't do Phoenix yourself, but I'm concerned about the impact on the employees and the functionality of the Canadian Forces.