Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to participate in the late show today because today's situation is rather unusual. We voted 159 times on a bill. We voted on 871 amendments grouped into 158 votes. Not a single amendment passed.
The government has shown that it is incapable of admitting that it does not have all the answers. It thinks it is perfect. It thinks that it can do no wrong and that it cannot have forgotten anything. That shows a real lack of maturity.
When I started working as a nurse, I learned that I was not perfect, that it was possible for me to make mistakes and that the worst thing to do after making a mistake is to continue on in the same fashion.
The same thing is true when it comes to the F-35s. The government refused to correct its mistake. It was unable to admit, at various stages along the way, that it should perhaps consider what the opposition was saying, that those arguments perhaps made sense. But no, the government continued being stubborn.
This is a big mess. Many questions about military procurement remain unanswered. Now, with the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat, when we ask questions, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services tells us that no money has been spent yet.
I would like to remind her that the mismanagement of the F-35 program has cost money. People have worked on this file and that costs money. Of course, the money spent so far pales in comparison to the enormous cost of an F-35, but I am sure that many Canadians would love to make ends meet with the money that has been invested in this mismanagement.
I would like to point out that it is not just the Conservatives' defence plan that is flawed. Before the Minister of National Defence even announced the F-35 procurement in June 2010, he already knew that the numbers the government was using were not correct. The Minister of National Defence and the Associate Minister of National Defencehad informed us one month earlier that the costs would go up. The ministers were updated in April 2011 and in February 2012, but until the Auditor General forced them to take a modicum of responsibility, it did not occur to anyone to notify the public or even rethink this whole plan.
The opposition rose and asked questions, and asked whether there was a plan B. Every time, the government absolutely did not listen, and it became more mired in the problem.
I would like to know if the government will understand one day that the opposition's role is not just to criticize. The opposition provides arguments to help advance issues. It advances arguments to prevent such problems with oversight of very significant military procurement from happening again.
I would like to know whether the government realizes this and if it understands that the opposition is trying to help it with a program that seems to be going awry. Furthermore, I would like to know if the government now knows in what direction it is headed.