Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure to rise to speak on a question I first raised on February 13, which coincidentally was on the very issue on which we just took a recorded division, which was on a motion I presented in the House on March 9 on restoring danger pay and tax benefits for our troops who are in the fight against ISIS. The unfortunate thing is that we had to essentially embarrass the government to support this motion, when we gave the government so many opportunities to correct this wrong.
Whether they are in Iraq or whether they are in Kuwait, as long as they are engaged in battle and are supporting the operations of the Canadian Armed Forces to stop ISIS through Operation Impact, they deserve all the danger pay and all the support of the Government of Canada, because the government called on them to go into this mission.
We also have to realize that this danger pay is in support of not just military personnel, recognizing the dangerous work they are doing, but is also about supporting their families back home. Military families are the enablers of our Armed Forces, and they are often dealing with all sorts of hardship because of the separation from their loved ones, such as the extra costs of child care and home and yard maintenance and all the other things that pop up from time to time during these extended periods when their loved ones are deployed.
I raised a question in the House today on this very issue. The minister has, on a number of occasions, misled this House. We raised it with the minister and with the chief of the defence staff back in the fall. We were made aware of this in October 2016. I went the proper route, first writing the minister on this issue. I got a very vague response. It took months to get the response. I raised it in committee when we had, first, the chief of the defence staff there and then the minister, in December, and again, there was no response. It essentially took all sorts of media coverage and questions in question period from the opposition for the Liberals to start recognizing that this now needed to be dealt with.
Unfortunately, we never saw this rectified until tonight, when we saw the vote and the unanimous support for my motion to reinstate hardship pay and danger benefits for all troops in Kuwait and to make it retroactive to September 1, 2016.
The minister kept saying in question period today, when I asked the question, that it was our Conservative government that sent our troops into Iraq without danger pay and that he corrected it in February 2016. I tried to get up on a point of order, and I will make the point now, that we have the question on the Order Paper, No. 600, signed by the minister himself. It clearly says that Operation Impact in Iraq has had all of the danger pay in place since August 22, 2014. Even for the operation in Baghdad, which started on April 17, 2015, they have had all of their danger pay, so he has definitely misinformed the House or has continued to mislead on the situation.
We also know, from section (h) of the question on the Order Paper, that all the Armed Forces personnel in Kuwait received tax relief from October 5, 2014 until September 1, 2016, so I would like the parliamentary secretary to correct the record and say that--