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House of Commons Hansard #158 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

Topics

(Return tabled)

Question No. 875Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnRoutine Proceedings

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan, SK

With regard to the government’s responses to Questions on the Order Paper since January 1, 2016: what directives have been issued by the Director of Issues Management in the Office of the Prime Minister, other members of the Issues Management section of the Office of the Prime Minister, or as a result of advice or direction given by the Issues Management section of the Office of the Prime Minister, broken down by (i) question number, (ii) content of directive or advice, (iii) date of directive or advice, (iv) the individual who issued the directive?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 876Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnRoutine Proceedings

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

With regard to the fighter jets procurement and any contact with Lockheed Martin: (a) what was the most recently projected cost of F-35 Lightning II aircraft; (b) what is the estimated annual operating and maintenance cost for the F-35 Lightning II fleet; (c) what are the (i) dates, (ii) times, (iii) locations, (iv) lists of attendees, including their titles, of all meetings between the government and Lockheed Martin since November 4, 2015; and (d) what are the details of all communications between (i) all officials in the Office of the Minister of National Defence and Lockheed Martin since November 4, 2015, (ii) all officials in the Office of the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Lockheed Martin since November 4, 2015?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnRoutine Proceedings

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnRoutine Proceedings

6:20 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnRoutine Proceedings

6:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government, of the amendment, and of the amendment to the amendment.

Financial Statement of Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dan Ruimy Liberal Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, BC

Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Pickering—Uxbridge.

When we took office in 2015, we knew that Canadian families had been discouraged by an economy that just was not working for them. We heard from Canadians from all walks of life that they were worried about their future and the current state of the economy and were looking for a government that would believe in them and invest in them.

In my riding of Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, I have spoken with families who are facing the challenges of an economy in a world that is rapidly changing. While we see these many challenges, we must also see the opportunities. I am proud of budget 2017 for seeing the optimism in a changing world and tapping into the opportunities for Canadians. Optimism and ambition have always been the telling story of Canadians. We are innovative, creative, compassionate people, who put our family first and believe that better is always possible.

To me, budget 2017 is about the empowerment of Canadians, empowering families, young people, women, and indigenous communities. It is also about supporting businesses and industries to succeed, not just here in Canada but around the world. Budget 2017 is an investment in the future of Canadians. Budget 2017 is a budget that I truly believe will empower communities and support constituents, addressing the vulnerable in our community, but also creating opportunities for families and generations to come.

As chair of the Standing Committee on Innovation, Science and Technology, and a member of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons With Disabilities, I have sat at the tables to listen to Canadians share their thoughts about our innovation sector, as well as our social sector. I have had the opportunity to speak with experts, academics, and everyday Canadians on the issues ranging from poverty reduction and labour shortages to supporting our industries and encouraging more women on corporate boards. The budget shows an understanding that these challenges, while distinct, are also interconnected. Quite simply, it is a reflection of the reality that Canadians are facing.

Budget 2017 is a strategy. It is a strategy to put Canadians ahead in global markets on the forefront of innovation and skills while at the same time supporting the urgent needs of vulnerable Canadians who have slipped through the cracks of a system that has not previously worked for them.

Our government is a government that looks to the future and knows that investing in modern skills training today will ensure collective success tomorrow. I know my community is filled with families who work hard each and every day so that their children can have a better future than their own, yet too many young people in our communities are struggling to find good-paying jobs after completing their education. A rapidly changing labour market and global workforce is presenting unprecedented challenges for our youth. Budget 2017 proposes a variety of measures that will support young Canadians in their transition to the workforce, as well as adult Canadians who are tying to adapt to a changing workforce.

The budget will expand on our youth employment strategy, investing $395.5 million over three years to help more than 33,000 vulnerable youth develop the skills they need to get back to school, create 15,000 new green jobs, and provide over 1,600 new employment opportunities in the heritage sector.

Additionally, budget 2017 will support the creation of a co-op and work integrated program for young people, particularly in STEM and business programs, while also renewing the government's support for pathways to education Canada. This is a program that assists low-income youth to complete high school and transition to the workforce or post-secondary education.

I am also proud that budget 2017 will equip our young people with the skills to succeed in a rapidly changing labour market by investing $50 million over two years for digital skills training, such as coding. Preparing our young people with the appropriate skills and abilities will help them and empower them to succeed in a modern job market.

As the chair of the industry committee, I have heard first-hand how important it is for our youth to have digital skills to be able to compete in a global workforce. This measure will not only help Canadians find good-paying jobs when they enter the labour market, but will also help Canada to be on the cutting edge of digital innovation and technology. This is a win-win that I hope everyone in the House can get on board with.

We are also helping adult Canadians retrain and develop new skills for today's modern labour market through changes to employment insurance, Canada student grants, and Canada student loans.

Changes to employment insurance will help unemployed Canadians receive skills training and get back on their feet without necessarily putting them at risk of losing their benefits, a barrier we heard at the human resources committee quite often that prevented successful re-entry into the labour market for so many.

Likewise, budget 2017 commits over $300 million over three years to assist adult Canadians with children who wish to go back to school to upgrade their skills.

Making investments is not about handouts. Over and over again at the human resources committee, we heard that it is about smart, calculated investments and partnerships that will most successfully empower Canadians to address the challenges we collectively face.

At our committee we also heard about the distinct correlation between mental health and poverty. As per commitments in budget 2016 and negotiations in the past year, my province of British Columbia will receive an additional $654.7 million over the next 10 years for mental health initiatives. This is in addition to the Canada health transfer of $6.7 billion in the 2017-18 year, which is an increase of $194.9 million from the previous year. Improving access to mental health initiatives will not only support millions of Canadians who struggle with mental health but will also work proactively to address a key contributor to poverty in Canada.

With respect to supporting vulnerable Canadians, job training is also one of the most effective—

Financial Statement of Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

6:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Unfortunately, it is now 6:30 p.m., and the time for debate has expired. The member will have three minutes left the next time this matter is before the House.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

6:30 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, I have just pulled myself away from the Senate, a House which I do not usually get to be in. I heard Dr. Buffy Sainte-Marie talk about her vision for the country that we want together. She said, “We truly want to move our country forward.” It was a beautiful presentation and a great honour to be a member of Parliament and to hear words like those in these Houses.

I will pick up on some of the conversation we were having about four months ago about marine protection and how to move our country forward toward a sustainable way to protect our coastline and sensitive environments from oil spills, and a recent success story that I heard about in my own riding of Nanaimo—Ladysmith. It was a fantastic presentation by local innovators.

In south Nanaimo, Ace Innovation Solutions is designing oil spill response equipment that might address some of the immediate needs we have when a small or large spill happens. It has a barge. It has a large extractor that floats, a small extractor that can fit inside a bilge tank, a very common source of oil spills on our coast, and also a portable unit that has a three metre collapsible boom that can sit on a dock or on a boat and can pick up 500 litres of diesel per hour.

There was a very concerning spill that happened around one of the fish farms up in Echo Bay north of Vancouver Island. This was in the news about three weeks ago. The proponents of Ace Innovations said that their machine would have been able to act quickly and in a very responsive way without waiting for outside equipment if the fish farm had had this equipment on hand. Their machinery skims the surface of the ocean and picks up diesel, motor oil, gasoline, crude oil, and any other type of oil immediately.

It was very encouraging to see this small business finding innovative solutions. We very much hope that the federal government wants to partner with that business, work with it, and especially tighten the response times so that anybody spills oil is required to have the equipment available to take fast action.

It has been five months since the oceans protection plan was announced by the government. I wish there were more we could point to that would show that our country is truly, actively moving forward.

We do not yet have a legislated tanker ban on the north coast. That was one of the announcements. We do not yet have more certainty around bitumen response. This is a sticky oil. When it hits the water, the Minister of Transport said in January it is not known what it does. In fact, there have been a number of studies that have said it may well sink. However, the minister was willing to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline and its associated bitumen oil tankers in the absence of his having confidence that there was a way to clean it up, which is extremely worrying. We have not seen anything on abandoned vessels in the budget.

I would like to know from the minister's representative, what good news do we have to celebrate regarding actual changes on the ground that will help coastal communities prevent an oil spill?

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

6:30 p.m.

Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, improving marine safety and formalizing an oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia's north coast are indeed priorities of this government.

On November 7, 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the oceans protection plan. This comprehensive national plan is an investment of $1.5 billion over five years in long-needed coastal protections. This plan—

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

6:35 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I just want to remind the member that she is not to mention the Prime Minister's name here or any other member of Parliament.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

April 3rd, 2017 / 6:35 p.m.

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, this plan will create a world-leading marine safety system, including new preventive and response measures to better protect our waters and coasts; restore and protect marine ecosystem and habitats; and strengthen partnerships with indigenous communities.

For example, we are going to ensure the Canadian Coast Guard has the equipment and tools it needs to better protect our waterways. That means more rescue stations and towing capacity to respond more quickly and effectively to save lives and protect the environment. We will also be supporting new and better methods for cleaning up oil spills, building local emergency response capacity, and strengthening our ability to move goods and resources safely.

On November 29, 2016, we also announced that the government is delivering on its commitment to Canadians to formalize a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on British Columbia's north coast. The Minister of Transport will be introducing legislation this year in order to provide a higher level of environmental protection for the Canadian coastline around Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound. The moratorium area extends from the Canada-U.S. border in the north down to the point on B.C.'s mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, and this also includes Haida Gwaii.

The moratorium will apply to the shipment of crude oil as defined by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, but it will also apply to persistent oil products that are heavier and, when spilled, break up and dissipate slowly. These new initiatives will help us be better prepared and equipped to protect these sensitive coastal waters.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

6:35 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, I was asking about a permanent ban, not a moratorium, so I would like to hear more from the member about that. There is an abundance of science and an abundance of community requests. This would be absolutely in keeping with the government's commitments.

I would also like to know this from the member. We agree on the broad intention, but I really need to know the specifics. When is the government going to move beyond words and into action on these other items, such as oil spill response time and legislation to solve the abandoned vessel problem? When will the commitments of the oceans protection plan be enacted in law?

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

6:35 p.m.

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, as I said earlier, improving marine safety and formalizing an oil tanker moratorium are indeed priorities of this government. The minister and his officials travelled across the country from Haida Gwaii to Iqaluit to St. John's to hear Canadians' perspectives in their own communities and territories on an oil tanker moratorium and improving marine safety. He met with stakeholders, non-governmental organizations, other levels of government, and indigenous groups to listen and gather input. All of this is to say that we have worked very hard to make sure all the voices were heard.

We are delivering on these priorities by investing in long-needed coastal protections under the oceans protection plan and we will be introducing moratorium legislation later this year. These initiatives will make our coastlines safer, more vibrant, and better protected.

National DefenceAdjournment Proceedings

6:35 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Madam Speaker, the minister, in his response to my question regarding sexual misconduct in the military, seemed to indicate that with the results of the Operation Honour survey, the military now had a handle on the scope of the issue of military sexual trauma and could now root it out. The problem is that the data gathered did not take into account those who left the military or were in the process of leaving. It also left out both recruits and those on course, which I might point out, according to American research, is the time sexual misconduct is most likely to occur.

The minister is working with incomplete information and expects to fix the problem. That is very problematic and needs to be addressed. Even if we take the information from the report and start addressing sexual misconduct, I think the minister will find that the problem is deeply rooted. I remain concerned that the minister's plan will not even come close to addressing the issues.

The struggles of many suffering from military sexual trauma are on the public record, but I think it is important to share some information this evening.

The veterans affairs committee heard testimony from the founder of It's Just 700, an organization that is advocating for and supporting those with military sexual trauma. I wonder if the parliamentary secretary knows the origins of the name. It comes from the reaction of the military community to the 2015 external review of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces. The hostility towards those facing military sexual trauma was made clear when MST survivors were dismissed as “only 700 making complaints”.

The problem is deeply rooted. The testimony heard at the veterans affairs committee included statements from MST survivors. I am going to read some now so that the House can truly understand how difficult this issue is.

My military doctor started pushing for a medical release at my first appointment with her, following the assault, before I had even seen a psychiatrist, started meds, started seeing a psychologist, or even wrapped my head around the fact that I had been raped.

Another survivor said:

The medical personnel told me that rape victims were not sent to see psychologists and that the priority was given to soldiers with combat-related trauma.

These men and women are struggling, and when they do speak up, it becomes more difficult for them. As we heard from It's Just 700:

There are still a lot of people being penalized for talking, and the retaliation part has not been set yet. We've pushed people to report, but we haven't actually provided support when they do....

The witness also pointed out that spouses of those who report military sexual trauma also face retaliation within the military if a spouse comes forward with claims of MST. This leaves the family vulnerable. Not only are they dealing with a sexual trauma and the potential loss of one military career, but the spouse may also be targeted. This impact on their careers, either in the short or long term, could really harm the family's ability to manage financially and emotionally.

My question to the minister is as follows. What action is the government taking now to make changes at DND and VAC? Will those groups excluded from the initial report be included in the subsequent report so that we can have an accurate picture of the problem and properly address the issue of sexual misconduct in the military with those serving and with our veterans?

National DefenceAdjournment Proceedings

6:40 p.m.

Saint-Jean Québec

Liberal

Jean Rioux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for raising this important issue.

I will take this opportunity to point out the member's work on and contribution to equality and respect for human rights. All men and women who serve their country deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, no matter their sex or background.

The results of the Statistics Canada survey remind us why the chief of the defence staff made Operation Honour his first order. The data from this survey on sexual misconduct is extremely troubling, but also useful, and serves to refocus the efforts of Operation Honour. An action plan to resolve the problems outlined in the survey will be released by the chief of the defence staff later this month.

In the meantime, measures have already been implemented in response to some of the main concerns. The priority was to ensure that victims have more and different options for care and support. I am pleased to confirm that they do have more than they did a year ago. That is a significant improvement.

A number of initiatives to support victims of sexual violence are being developed to ensure that victims have access to a full range of services to help them navigate the military justice system and get the care they need to restore their well-being.

A peer support network is being developed in coordination with the well-established operational stress injury support group and will be available soon.

The forces have also enhanced their engagement with sexual assault victim support groups located near bases and wings where military victims currently seek support.

The Canadian Armed Forces are also implementing new comprehensive education and training initiatives to raise awareness among members.

Given the survey results, our armed forces must do better. The survey revealed that sexual assault happens much more often than in the general population. This behaviour is harmful to all members of the armed forces.

It is important to note that the survey also revealed there are signs Operation Honour is taking hold. More than 80% of military members trust that their leaders will deal effectively with harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour.

To further enhance the confidence of our members, this must be backed up with results. As the chief of the defence staff said, those who choose not to follow his orders will be dealt with through disciplinary or administrative action. Harmful or inappropriate sexual behaviour of any kind is absolutely unacceptable.

Given the results of this survey, I can appreciate that there are those who remain skeptical of the military's efforts. However, our government and the chief of the defence staff are committed to demonstrating that Operation Honour is different.

The cultural change that is being fostered will not happen overnight and will continue to require the full engagement of every military member.

I would like to thank the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who responded to the survey. The high response rate shows how concerned Canadian Armed Forces members are about this issue.

The Canadian Armed Forces has a lot of work ahead, but I know the current leadership is committed to getting it done.

National DefenceAdjournment Proceedings

6:45 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to share at this point the propositions from It's Just 700, because it has the critical insights into how to begin to address military sexual trauma.

First, we need more women in the military. Like in politics, we need a critical mass of women in order to change the culture and ensure that women are heard.

Second, “A lot of people see things going on and say nothing.” The best way to stop assaults and abuse is to be a witness. When we see or experience something wrong, we have to report it. That provides a statement and it provides a witness. Sadly, many people choose to say nothing because they are afraid or are worried about their own careers.

I hope the government is listening and that we can uproot the problem of military sexual trauma from our Canadian Forces so our veterans do not continue to suffer.

National DefenceAdjournment Proceedings

6:45 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Rioux Liberal Saint-Jean, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to reiterate that harmful or inappropriate sexual behaviour of any kind is absolutely unacceptable. The Canadian Armed Forces recognizes that it needs to do better and is working very hard to root out this problem.

Between April and December 2016, 116 individuals were subject to administrative action for incidents of sexual misconduct. In 2016, 19 people were accused of committing sexual offences and 17 of them were found guilty. In 2016, 32 people were relieved of their command, supervision, or training duties because of matters of a sexual nature.

There is still work to be done and we remain committed to fixing what is wrong within the culture of the Canadian Armed Forces.

National DefenceAdjournment Proceedings

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Madam Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure to get up again to speak on defence issues. Hopefully, the parliamentary secretary will be able to address the issues that I raise.

I am coming back on a question that I raised on March 9. In that question, I talked about whether the Liberals are going to cook the books in the budget with National Defence. It is a bit of a shell game, moving Coast Guard expenses as part of the defence budget so that we might get closer to that 2% aspirational target set by NATO. As we know, the Coast Guard does not do any actual National Defence work. It is strictly there in search and rescue mode and to some degree does border security.

As well, I come back to this issue of danger pay that was taken away from our troops who were on the ground in Kuwait in the fight against ISIS. As members know, on March 9 we did have our opposition day in the House, and ultimately the government supported my motion to retroactively restore danger pay to all members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are involved in Operation Impact, whether they are in Kuwait, stationed in Iraq, or stationed in other locations throughout the Middle East supporting the efforts on the ground and in the air to defeat ISIS.

The questions have come back to the government. When will the troops who had their danger pay taken away at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait have their danger pay restored? When will they have all that back pay, which goes up to about $1,800 a month in increased salaries, in income tax treatment, and other benefits that accrue to them? When is that actually going to be paid back to them?

I want the government also to commit to make sure that those benefits are not taken away from other operations in Kuwait and Iraq. As we know, from the questions on the Order Paper that we raised, there has been an ongoing assessment of the danger and hardship risks that are associated with being deployed, but we also always have to remember that this is a bigger mission, taking on ISIS. It takes members of all the Canadian Armed Forces to be on the ground and in that space dealing with ISIS terrorists.

As we know, those terrorists are very mobile. Right now they are fleeing Mosul, and as those rats scurry away, they are going to places like Kuwait. They are getting out of Iraq. They are going to Syria and other surrounding regions, including back down to Baghdad, which really does put all of our troops at risk.

We have to remember that it is not just about those members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are in harm's way. This about supporting their families at home. I hope that the parliamentary secretary can assure those families that all of our troops, whether part of the Air Task Force at Kuwait, part of our Special Operations Forces, or part of a medical mission in Iraq, are going to have all of the dollars and cents that they deserve, that every penny will be paid back, and that those people who are going to be deployed and are currently deployed will not have those benefits clawed back.

Finally, I ask this of the government and parliamentary secretary. Will the Minister of National Defence correct the record of his misleading comments that he has said in this House more than a few times now? They are completely contrary to the questions on the Order Paper that he answered in Question No. 600, when he said that all of our troops, since they were deployed in Iraq and Kuwait, have all their benefits until September 1, 2016.

National DefenceAdjournment Proceedings

6:50 p.m.

Saint-Jean Québec

Liberal

Jean Rioux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman for raising this adjournment debate. I know how much of a concern this is to him and to all other members of the House.

I would like to remind my hon. colleague that our government and the rest of the House unanimously supported the opposition motion on this matter on March 9. The motion we supported sought to reinstate tax relief for Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed in Arifjan, Kuwait.

I would like to begin by reiterating what the minister and I have both said many times. Our government cares very much about our troops and has tremendous respect for the men and women who serve in the Canadian Armed Forces. They are highly trained and highly skilled and are the pride of all Canadians from coast to coast to coast. When they are deployed overseas, they represent Canada with professionalism and courage.

Members of the House are unanimous when it comes to their support for the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces. Hon. members agree that CAF personnel are entitled to allowances that reflect the conditions and risks that they are exposed to. Our commitment in this regard has not changed.

The Minister of National Defence himself was deployed many times when he was a soldier. He knows how important these allowances are, not only for our brave soldiers, but also for their families back at home. The well-being of our soldiers is a top priority for our government.

I would also remind my colleague that the minister has made personal commitments regarding risk assessment. He has asked the chief of the defence staff to look at our internal procedures and make recommendations regarding any changes that should be made. He has also asked the Department of National Defence to work with the other relevant departments and agencies to review this process. This review is under way, and our government will make decisions once it is completed.

As we await the results of this review, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the methodology currently used to assign risk levels. Risk levels assigned to any operation are constantly reviewed. Risk levels accurately reflect the actual conditions and risks that personnel are exposed to in a specific geographic location and on a specific operation. These levels change over time, as do the risks and conditions associated with soldiers' duties.

It is important to note that the committee that makes these decisions consists not only of civilian staff, but also of senior military officials. These individuals have led military operations and their experience has made them acutely aware of the sacrifices constantly being made by the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces.

These risk levels are established based on the analyses and advice of experts such as senior military officials, doctors, and intelligence advisors. Committee members do their best to properly assess the conditions and risks associated with each deployment. While waiting for General Vance's review, we should remember that the top priority is to ensure that our men and women in uniform are always honoured and duly compensated for the work they do.

National DefenceAdjournment Proceedings

6:55 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Madam Speaker, I would like to remind the parliamentary secretary that this is about more than just words. This is about leadership, and that is what we have not seen from the minister or the government.

We have to remember that when this happened under a Conservative government, we pushed aside the civil servants who made these decisions and we did the right thing. We made sure that danger pay and tax benefits were there for our troops when they were deployed in Afghanistan. We need that type of leadership now from the minister. Again, the minister has allowed the Prime Minister and the finance minister to cut $12 billion from the defence budget over the last two years alone, being $8.5 billion this year. That is not leadership.

Finally, the parliamentary secretary wants to talk about methodology. This is not about methodology. This is about getting it right for our troops. They want some clear answers and some clear indication that the government is going to repay all of the danger pay that was taken away from those troops who are currently deployed in Kuwait and that this will not happen again in the future.