Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the remarks of the hon. member for Laurier-Sainte-Marie regarding a 25 per cent reduction in the defence budget.
I am sure the hon. member is aware that over the past 20 years Canada has been second only to Luxembourg in per capita commitment to defence. In fact, we have been recognized in NATO and other agencies as being very much remiss in our contribution to defence.
Over the next four years we are scheduled to see a $6 billion reduction in the defence budget already announced. I would ask the hon. member if it is realistic and reasonable to suggest a 25 per cent reduction in a budget for a force that we do not really know yet what we are going to ask it to do? Would it not be more appropriate to await the outcome of the defence review before we establish a budget to operate that force?