Mr. Speaker, I will be brief. For one thing, we have to be much more aggressive internationally in the world. We cannot back away from the opportunities and obligations of leadership that await Canada.
I for one, and I am sure many members of the House, shared the shame when at the time of the terrible crisis in the United States the prime minister of this world who was present offering support to Americans was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister of Canada stood back and was not heard from for several days. That has become almost a trademark of the government, a trademark of stepping back from areas of responsibility where traditionally the Government of Canada has led.
Again, we are now pretending to propose a major fund for aid to Africa. We spent millions of dollars on the conference in Kananaskis that proposed the fund. However when we look at the estimates, which are supposed to put actual money in the account, the money is not there. That is the absence of leadership. That is on the diplomatic side.
The point of the debate is that we won our reputation. If members look at the history of Canada, we won our reputation as an international player through the activities of the men and women in the Canadian armed forces in the first world war. That is when Canada became a sovereign nation in the eyes of the world. It has been the service of Canadian men and women in the armed forces, our diplomats and others that has made Canada such a significant player internationally.
My colleague for Brandon—Souris makes the point again about the current gathering tensions in the world now. These are tensions which require not only the kind of leadership and diplomacy followed by strength, which Canada has traditionally indicated, but also the kind of calm judgment that can prevail in times like this.
The world is hearing from a prime minister on this. They are hearing from the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. They are not hearing from Canada. In part, the authority of the United Kingdom has to do not simply with the initiative of the prime minister, but with the fact that his country has not let its military down. It has the means to deliver on its commitments. Our country does not. That has to change.
If we are to play a leading role in the world again, we have to invest again to improve the moral and the capacity of the Canadian armed forces.