OTTAWA – While announcing the defence policy review, Defence Minister Sajjan acknowledged that the Senate and House of Commons Defence Committees would play a ‘critical role’ in the policy review process and invited the “Senate and House Committees on National Defence to study issues of relevance to the policy review.”
Today at the Standing Committee on National Defence, James Bezan, Official Opposition Critic for National Defence, tabled a motion to undertake a study on the strategy and development of a new defence white paper and policy review. Regrettably, all five Liberal members of the committee voted against the motion. In response, MP Bezan issued the following statement:
“It is disappointing to see that the Liberals used their majority to reject my motion to study the upcoming defence policy review. Minister Sajjan invited committees from both the Senate and the House of Commons to contribute to the policy review.
“The committee’s current study as it relates to the policy review is to study only the Defence of North America and is focused on the aerial readiness of the Canadian Armed Forces. We are hearing from witness with a variety of backgrounds and expertise and completed a similar study on the Defence of North America only a year ago. As a past Chair of the committee and former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, I know that the Defence committee is capable of making a significant contribution to the defence policy review.
“The decision by the Liberal members of the Standing Committee on National Defence to not study the defence policy review and make recommendations clearly demonstrates that the Trudeau government has already made its mind up and will not be taking the Parliamentary and public consultations seriously.”