Mr. Speaker, while my colleague had a couple of good points, for the most part, truth and that member are ships passing in the night. Thank God that the real representatives from Quebec to the mission in Afghanistan are people in the Van Doos who deserve our credit and all the accolades we give them.
The member misrepresented many things. He presented the Senlis Council as having been a true spokes-group for what is going on but it clearly misled the defence committee on its activities over there.
The member said that there were no clinics and no schools. Is he calling the Department of National Defence a liar? Is he calling the Chief of Defence Staff a liar? Is he calling all Canadian Forces members, CIDA members and DFAIT members, who are in Afghanistan doing these things, liars?
The member talked about the ratio of 2,500 military personnel to 20 or so civilians and how that means the mission is imbalanced. Does he have any idea what those 2,500 military members are doing besides carrying arms and engaging the Taliban, as they must do? Does he have any idea who is building the bridges and the schools, who is operating the clinics, starting irrigation systems and turning on the electricity? It is a good portion of the 2,500 uniformed Canadian men and women. He clearly has his own agenda with respect to what he is presenting in the House today and that is very unfortunate.
I would like to ask the member a question about governance. He talked about the lack of progress, which, there is no question, is a challenge and always will be when we are building a country from the ground up. I think he knows about the strategic advisory team in Afghanistan. Could he give us his assessment on the work that SAT is doing in Kabul and whether he thinks it is a worthwhile contribution to the mission, bearing in mind that it is being done by men and women in uniform who are stepping outside of their normal combat-related duties to do things that involve reconstruction, development and capacity building? Does he have a comment on the work that SAT is doing in Kabul?