On Thursday, March 1 the Committee of National Defence met to hear from witness, Dr. James Fergusson, regarding the continued study of maintaining readiness within the Canadian forces. This study is a continuation of the motion adopted by the Committee on Thursday, September 29, 2011.
The witness advocated for an increase in funding for the Canadian military in order to prepare for the “unforeseeable future”. Continuously Dr. Fergusson emphasized the importance of maintaining readiness, and arming the nation so that it is well-equipped to defend itself and its allies. During questioning, the necessity of the F-35 fighter jets was questioned, but the witness remained firmly in favour of the aircrafts as Canada’s only option. Regardless of the larger quantity of super hornets that could be purchased for the same price, Fergusson maintained that Canada must remain on par with its allies in order to effectively defend against an unpredictable future.
Furthermore, he expressed his belief that it was not the duty of the Canadian armed forces to rebuild nations in need, but rather the work of their own government. The witness inferred that Canada’s future was not in diplomatic relations, but rather direct combat in support of its allies. He felt that investment in the F-35s with their stealth technology, and further training as well as education of infantry soldiers would help prepare Canada for its transition away from the role of peace-keeping nation. The committee then adjourned.