Mr. Speaker, to cut $1.6 billion starting April 1 means that we have to make some long range decisions. If we make cuts at the sharp end of the military, i.e. the ability of the military to conduct itself as a true fighting strength and discharge obligations that will be outlined in the defence review, then obviously we are hurting it before we actually decide on the policy.
We are trying to deal with excess infrastructure and surplus capacity, much of which has not been dealt with by previous governments for obvious political and sensitive reasons. We hope to deal with any communities and individuals affected in a most sensitive manner.
I believe all hon. members of the House will probably support us in the drive to bring some efficiency and rationalization to the armed forces. Later this year the defence review will be able to outline the policies required for the military in the year 2000 but will have the ability to discharge those obligations.