Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member from the Alliance Party, who is an active member on the committee, for this very important question. In brief, the supply chain consists of all services and materials supplied to the military from within, the nuts, the bolts and everything else.
The government has entered into a sort of preliminary contract with a company called Tibbett & Britten, of England, to look at the privatization of that supply chain, which basically means we would “war-mart”, or sort of Wal-Mart, our military supply chain. That is simply unacceptable. The fact is that over $800 million would then be transferred to a foreign company. This is completely unacceptable. We have 1,674 public service workers attached to the supply chain now, who are working very proudly, I may say. Some people call them the invisible force of the military, the fourth arm, as well as our men and women who are attached as spouses to the military.
Just as important, there are over 3,000 businesses across the country that supply the military and its bases, from Gander, from Renfrew, from Esquimalt, from Shearwater and so on. These are small businesses that need this business with the military in order to survive.
To privatize it means that Tibbett & Britten of England can get those supplies from anywhere in the world and thus knock out many of these businesses and the hopes and dreams of many people who work in those businesses. It is simply unacceptable. We in the NDP and others, I am sure, are saying that it should not be privatized, that it should remain a public service. I am sure that when the government finishes its review it will find out that indeed is the way to go.