Mr. Chair, I will try to figure out how to edit along the way. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in these proceedings tonight. I will use my formerly 10 minutes, my current four minutes, to make a couple of minutes of comments and a couple of minutes of questions.
Each line item in the main estimates represents an important activity for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, but as we review these individual expenditures, we should also step back and consider the broader strategic vision for defence.
The Canada first defence strategy is now eight years old. The changes we have seen since then and the inherently fluid nature of the security environment demand that we refresh our strategic vision for the defence of Canada and Canadian interests.
When we look at the security scene today, we face a diverse array of threats and challenges: instability, extremism in the Middle East, tensions between a resurgent Russia and the NATO alliance, rising powers in the Asia-Pacific region, and certainly a heightened interest in Canada's Arctic.
The recent devastating fires in Fort McMurray show that we have more severe, natural and man-made disasters. All of these dynamics, and I have only named a few, demand a review of Canada's defence perspective and priorities. Admittedly, these complex security challenges, both at home and abroad, necessitate an ever more comprehensive approach engaging an ever-wider community of actors. The fact remains that the Canadian Armed Forces are key among them. We need to ensure that our military continues to be ready and equipped for the job at hand. We need to ensure that it is an agile, multi-purpose, combat capable force.
Mr. Chair, I will jump right into questions. The world has changed in many ways since the government last articulated a defence policy that laid out a plan for the Canadian Armed Forces. This is an exciting time, and I think that all members of this House are excited to see the results. Could the minister please inform the committee when the defence policy review process will be complete and where they are in the process at the moment?