Mr. Speaker, it has been a long day. We must accept people's mistakes from time to time.
As I did earlier with our colleague from Edmonton, I want to reiterate that we have a difference of opinion. The member is asking for proof, and I will let the Department of National Defence provide him with details regarding this capability gap.
All I can say is that our fleet of CF-18s is aging. It has gone from about 125 aircraft to about 75. A process has been launched with L-3 Communications MAS in Mirabel—a supplier we really like—to extend the life of those aircraft. Based on the advice of the Department of National Defence, we know we have a capability gap that cannot be filled by extending the life of those aircraft. We need to go ahead with the procurement of interim aircraft that are compatible with our fleet.
That being said, as the hon. member opposite knows full well, making such procurements is complicated and takes time. It happens on an international level and it is a major undertaking. It is important to define all manner of things, such as the industrial benefit, the technical specifications, the unique capabilities, and so on. We will take the time needed to ensure that the process is open to everyone and transparent, and to maximize the benefits to our men and women in uniform and the economic benefits to Canada. This has to be a solid investment for Canadian taxpayers since they will be covering the cost.
We disagree. There are a number of other examples of that in daily life in the House. I respect my colleague's point of view. It is his opinion. We are going on facts presented by the Department of National Defence and the philosophy we presented to Canadians during the election. Now that we are in government, we maintain that we will procure new equipment for our troops. We will ensure that our men and women in uniform have the ships, aircraft, and land equipment they need to be world leaders and the pride of all Canadians.