Mr. Speaker, for several days now, NATO forces in Kabul, Afghanistan have had a new commander.
He is Lieutenant-General Rick Hillier, who is responsible for some 6,000 soldiers, 2,100 of them Canadians, from NATO member countries.
We are all aware of the tremendous risks these soldiers face every day. They deserve our respect and our unconditional support.
The international community is counting on us to help Afghanistan become a country where stability, democracy and prosperity are once again part of daily life. Our country, through its brave soldiers, has an opportunity to leave its mark on history and build a better world. This government will not back away from this challenge.