Mr. Speaker, as I received no notice of this, I would like the opportunity, if you deem it needs to go further, to respond in a more detailed fashion to what the member has put before you. However I do not believe it has any merit whatsoever.
I have expressed to the House the hope that by the end of this year we would know the name of the helicopter. I stand by that. Can we get the helicopter by 2005? I think that is still quite possible. That is what the government is aiming for.
We are talking about our goals and aims. I have said that there has been slippage in the timeframe for it but I have also indicated that we hope, once the identity of the helicopter is known and that part of the competition is completed, we will be able to make up time in the balance of the process.
That is the government position. He cites a number of official reports but those are reports of officials. They do not reflect the government position. Those are reports that officials have given to us. Yes, Mr. Williams has indicated to me that if we are not in a position to accelerate the process then we will be beyond 2005. However he has also indicated to me that there is the possibility that we could accelerate the process.
Until we get beyond this next phase, which will help determine which helicopter we will purchase in this procurement process, we do not know precisely what date we are talking about. Therefore we are not changing our aims with respect to when we want to have the helicopter. We want it as soon as we possibly can.
That is my preliminary response to the member's statement. Certainly, Mr. Speaker, if you intend to proceed with this any further I would want to respond in a more fulsome fashion, although I cannot imagine why that statement has any merit.