Since yesterday's new feature, the question of the day, seemed to be well received here's today's installment. Today, the topic is the military, and the Afghanistan mission.
I know this is a politically dicey area for the Liberals to be treading on, given some of the divisions in our party on the issue. I think, given recent events though, some questions need to be asked and there are some things we can all agree on. We support our troops, and we support the goals of the mission. We just question the government's strategy in achieving those goals, and objected to the rushed nature of the vote on the extension.
But specifically, we've heard in recent days that sailors and air force members may be reassigned to the army and to the war zone to meet our commitments in Afghanistan; that 300 out of 1000 Canadian soldiers destined for Afghanistan may have failed drug tests; and today that the military is dropping any requirements for fitness testing for new recruits.
Here's today's question:
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence. There have been some disturbing reports from his department of late.
We've heard that, in order to main troop levels in Afghanistan, Navy and Air Force members may be rotated into Army units in Afghanistan. We've heard reports that an astounding 30 per cent of soldiers bound for Afghanistan may have failed their drug tests. And now we've learned that even basic fitness standards for military recruiting have been dropped.
This is all the fallout, Mr. Speaker, of this government rushing through a vote extending our commitment to Afghanistan without doing its homework, and without allowing this House to properly examine the proposal and whether we have the resources or not to meet it.
I ask the Minister, Mr. Speaker, do we have the resources to fulfill this government's extended commitment without drastically dropping standards, and will he allow this House to finally properly consider this politically-motivated extension?
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