Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question of the hon. member. Perhaps I could inform him and the House that the Canadian forces cannot afford to buy aircraft both for strategic airlift and for normal administrative movement of the troops.
The choice is to use either the airbus for strategic airlift and to contract out for administrative flights or to reverse it and to contract out for strategic airlift and use the airbus for administrative flights.
The hon. member may not be aware that we cannot rely on commercial aircraft for strategic airlift in time of crisis. We have decided to opt for using the airbus for strategic airlift, humanitarian purposes and for those things for which contingency plans are drawn up and may be required at a moment's notice.