Nathan poses questions on National Defence
June 5th, 2012 - 3:24pm
Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives promised ships, planes and vehicles for the Canadian armed forces. They promised to repair search and rescue craft in British Columbia. The Conservatives knew full well that they could not keep those promises. They did not have the money to keep them. National Defence officials had made that clear to them.
Why did the Conservatives not tell the truth about their military procurement strategy? Why did they fail to respect taxpayers?
Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we told the truth and we took action to rebuild our armed forces. While we were doing that, the NDP and the Liberal Party opposed our efforts to get the equipment that our men and women in uniform need to do their jobs to defend Canada.
Our government has made historic investments, unprecedented in modern Canadian history, to give Canada's men and women in uniform the equipment and resources they need.
Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP): Mr. Speaker, from the helicopters to the F-35 fiasco, Canadians are well aware of the Conservative' litany of failures and half truths on military procurement. On the F-35, costs were lowballed. The process was rigged from the start. Now the government is doing damage control because of a scathing Auditor General's report.
Now we learn that the entire Conservative defence plan has been mismanaged and is over budget. The minister was told last year by his own department that his plan was “unaffordable”. Why did the Conservatives hide the fact that their defence plan was unaffordable from the public?
Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the reality is that no government in the modern history of Canada has done more to invest in giving the equipment necessary to our men and women in uniform. For example, we delivered four C-17 Globemasters and seventeen C-130J Hercules. We have delivered unmanned aerial vehicles to support our soldiers in Afghanistan, over 1,000 new medium support vehicles and Leopard 2 tanks.
The government has consistently reacted to support our men and women in uniform, giving them the modern equipment they need. At every step of the way, the NDP and Liberals have opposed our efforts to invest in our military.