tv Washington This Week CSPAN September 20, 2015 1:00pm-3:01pm EDT
mr. trudeau: mr. mulcair talks about being the minister of environment and quebec. i was living in quebec and he was producing both water exports to the united states. mr. mulcair: completely false. mr. trudeau: you gave a speech on that. look at your own record. the fact is that mr. harper continues to pretend that there is a choice between environment and economy. he chooses to say that you cannot though that strong economy if you're still protecting the environment. that has been his failure and that has been his favorite -- failure felt right here in calgary. he talks about the the best friend that calgary or alberta has ever had. he is not gotten quite once built. he has made the oilsands an international pariah. with friends like stephen harper, alberta doesn't need enemies. david: what is the cost of your plan, mr. mulcair first? mr. mulcair: our plan includes
overarching legislation that will be rigorously enforced and provide action when a company is trying to boost the environment. mr. harper talks a good game on international trade deals. he has done everything in his power to stop the authorities that exist under the north american free trade agreement from even measuring the pollution going into the environment in canada. that is his track record. we will enforce overarching sustainable the moment legislation. we will apply it fairly and equally to everyone and canadians will know we are going to stop leaving this massive ecological debt on the backs of future generations. you asked about are costing. not only will he move forward on pricing carbon and ensuring that we are reducing greenhouse gases in the responsible way, but the haseral party invested $20 billion in greener infrastructure. that is floodplains immigration in calgary and investing in clean jobs and making sure we're moving toward nubile energies.
we need to get our resources to market. it is one of the fundamental responsibilities of a prime minister an order to do that, we need to move and a responsible way that we are leaving targeted -- to our kids. p.m. harper: we are investing about a billion dollars a year to energy-efficient technology. what we are not doing his imposing cost upon consumers. we are in a fragile global economy and we do not need additional cost. he is the same old story from the ndp on this. they say we are going to fix the somehow to raising taxes. in their platform yesterday, they put a bunch of tax increases for the energy and mining sector. this is the same thing we had in alberta. solveught we could problems with raising taxes. i have seen people get higher individual tax bills. we see people getting layoffs because employers are paying higher taxes b. higher taxes are not the way you're going to move the energy sector or the canadian economy. david: mr. mulcair please.
corporationshe tax by tens of billions of dollars but if that was such a good idea, how did we lose 400,000 paid jobs? how do we have 300,000 more unemployed today and when mr. harper's first recession hit? david: we moved to the third topic, which is infrastructure. this goes to mr. trudeau. your committed to taking us to deficit in order to fund your infrastructure plan. spending money is an easy promise. what does success look like? mr. trudeau: canadians understand that when you want to buy a new home or renovate your existing home because you are adding to the family, you take out a bank loan. you know that you can invest in your future because that is what confident optimistic country stupid we invest in our future. right now, mr. harper thinks that the investments he has made over the past 10 years are enough. they are not. he has the worst jobs creation
rate since world war ii. he has worth growth rate of any prime minister since the great recession. we need to create the transit canadians need them to start doing it right now. mr. mulcair talks about putting things off for 3-5-10-20 years. that is not what we need. we are the only party that has said, yes, we will run three modest deficits as it is time to invest in canada once again and give people the support they need. that is why we are going to work with municipalities and provinces to identify the necessary projects and get them built. because we will invest in the future of our country. david: mr. trudeau, you say you would create a new infrastructure bank. that is dependent on canada's pension funds investing could they have not done that because the projects in canada are too small. what if they do not sign on? mr. trudeau: that is not altered. we are proposing a new infrastructure bank that will help the provinces and these of how these borrow at the advantageous rate of the federal
government actually has. a separate initiative looking to encourage pension funds to invest in canada. in order to do that, we have to have a much more robust partner in the federal government. for decades now, mr. harper has underinvested in our infrastructure. while he has run fiscal deficits come here has been increasing our infrastructure deficit. the fact is that canadians stuck in traffic on the deerfoot or gardener or elsewhere across the country know that we need a plan that is going to track all -- tackle transit inroads right now , not a decade from now like mr. mulcair, and not at all like mr. harper has been doing. that is what our plan is all about. that is why i'm going to invest in the future of our country. david: mr. harper, is mr. trudeau on to something? p.m. harper: absolutely not. [laughter] here are the facts. this year, our government is putting more into infrastructure -- 15 times more than the last
full year of the liberal government. that is how much we have increased federal infrastructure investments could over the decades to come, our economic action plan has some $80 billion, an unprecedented amount andoney input into federal municipal infrastructure across the country. the easiest thing to do for anybody else is to come along and say i'll let spend more. we have managed to do this without raising your taxes and without borrowing anything and we move forward. mr. trudeau comes along and says, let's raise taxes. let's run a deficit. running a deficit is not the kind of protection our economy needs right now. globalin an unstable economy. we have managed to return to balance budget now for the second year when many other countries haven't done so. that is an asset we should continue to's -- to pursue and not spend more just for the sake of an able to say we spent more. david: let's move to the flood. mr. mulcair, you have the lead. mr. mulcair: mr. trudeau's plan
is reckless. municipalities across this country are asked to spend the cost of 60% of the infrastructure with only an a percent of the tax base. ist is also not sustainable the old liberal approach of leaving tens of billions of dollars in debt on the backs of future generations. we are going to be a reliable long-term partner for municipalities across the country. we do not need the short-term thinking of the liberals. we need money invested long-term. our plan is for constant spending over 20 years -- one point $5 billion a year and infrastructure, $1.3 billion a year in transit. those are important sums of money. mr. trudeau: mr. mulcair likes to talk about long-term, but when he does not realize is that long-term starts right now. not five years from now, not 20 years from now, not after demanded its -- mandates of mr. mulcair and government. canadians need help right now. the fact of the matter is that we have a situation right now
where interest rates are low. borrowing has never been cheaper for the federal government. our jet -- debt to gdp ratio is low and getting lower. our economy is getting flat and has been for 10 years. now that there are thousands upon thousands of skilled canadians looking for work in construction and growth, if this is not the time to invest, what would be? the fact of the matter is is that i talked with mayor nancy and he was saying that cost for municipal investments are down 20% this year compared to last year because of the circumstance we are in. ins is the time to invest the future of our country. canadians know this. the only people who do not seem to know this are these two gentlemen on the state. david: mr. harper. p.m. harper: not only are we pursuing a large long-term if a structure plan, but this year, we are proceeding with a $6 billion plan to eliminate the federal infrastructure deficit entirely going forward. that is what we are doing right now.
we are doing that with borrowing money and without raising taxes. esther trudeau says he will raise taxes. as for mulcair's plan is the same old playbook. we saw in british columbia and ontario and we are seeing it an operative. home much -- a whole bunch of spending and we can raise that on taxes on corporations and people. he put people out of work and slow the economy and kill jobs. that is the reality of the ndp plan wherever it has been tried. you're wrong about that. mr. mulcair is not going to raise taxes on the wealthiest canadians . only the liberal party will to give a tax cut for the middle-class. we will not raisecair: taxes on individual candidates. we will ask large corporations to pay their fair share. they are the only canadians who do not write out. mr. trudeau and harper are of one mind. they thought that by dropping their taxes by tens of billions
of dollars, way below that of our close trading partners was a good idea. when we do raise it, it will be reasonably and only way below what was on the liberals and way below the average of what has been under the conservatives. we are also going to make sure we close tax loopholes brought in by the liberals. it actually will ensure that people are respectively tank and not as theoretical about where they have the loopholes they can fall back on. with regard to the difference between liberals and us, liberals want to raise income taxes. we will not do that. i do not think it is fair that someone looking at the paystub is going to see that 58.75% is already gone in income taxpayers that will be the result of mr. trudeau's plan. mr. trudeau: he talks about corporations and they are not paying their fair share. even if the wealthiest 1% are paying their fair share. if you look the past 30 years, incomes for the wealthiest 1% of carrying have increased by 70%
while their federal tax share has decreased by 32 percent. i cannot think that is fair. we are the only party that is asking the wealthiest 1% who is still -- done well to pay a little more. is the creation of another bank and answer? to misseau: it loans palavi's and provinces to take advantage of rates the government gets. it is another way on top of the $60 billion in investments we are making in our municipalities and it starts with doubling in the very first year for transit, for childcare spaces, and for senior residences. it is time to invest in the future of our country. it has never been more appropriate to invest in the future of our country. seee two gentlemen cannot that because they are stuck in a political way, not an economic way. p.m. harper: he claims he is want to raise hundreds of millions of dollars through the proposing of treatment of stock options.
there is not the kind of money. this is the approach of the ndp -- to exaggerate how much money they can raise review tax hikes. the reality is that when he says he is not going to raise money, the payroltax hikes amount to over $1500 a person is making just $60,000 a year. those funds come right out of your paycheck. they come out of the money you are using to take your mortgage, by your close, find your kids education. those are real costs. the stoxx option tax loophole cost taxpayers $500 million a year. david: we have to leave it there. we now move on to question four. this is on immigration and it goes to mr. harper. all parties agreed that immigration is essential to canvas long-term economic strategy. what is the right balance between economic migrants in those seeking family reunification? p.m. harper: every year we put
out numbers and i think we have maintained a balance between those of the various categories. we have about two thirds of the people who come in who are related to economics and others are related to family reunification. what i'm most proud of is that this is the first government in canadian history faced with a recession that do not cut them aggression. the reason we do not cut immigration is because we understand given demographics and economic pressures in front of us that a long-term large-scale immigration program is in this country's interest. that is why we're looking at the long-term and i am very pleased have done that and move forward on that. we are doing specific things to make sure the economic sections of our immigration policy are more oriented to getting results. for example, we use the process applications in order. it is targeting those applications that fill actual vacancies in the job market. this is a transition that we think will make it important and more effective.
we increased immigration numbers to counter the aging demographic of canada? p.m. harper: we have increased numbers at very high levels. there are over 250,000 a year. there is room going forward to increase that. obviously, we want to get the right mix because they are funding costs that come a long but some strains of immigration. i think that is a possibility going forward. i think the main thing is that we make sure we are maximizing the economic benefit of immigration. i talked about express entry. to give you another example of something we're doing and that is the falling credentials loan program did we brought in as a pilot and we are now expanding. we found that if we give through third-party groups, we give very small ones to upgrade qualifications so they're recognizing can move. we can get them to the workforce much more quickly and we have a payback rate on those loans well over 90%. i think there are lots of things that we can do even within our existing large levels to improve
the system. i do think we can look at expanding it done forward. mr. trudeau, what role does immigration play in your economic plan? mr. trudeau: canada has long known that immigration is essential to our growth. we have a country that has benefited from people coming here from faraway lance, building a better future for themselves and for their children and community's here. that has been the strength of this country -- we are strong not inat a spite of our differences but because of them. he talk about family reunification. this is something that is really important to create strong communities because the economic benefits of immigrants are one of there is more to them than just workers. they are committee workers. there -- they are creating stronger cities for generations. it is helping canadians actually
succeed. that is why it is so's -- so disappointed because can't has always given people a path to succeed in this country. that's what we need to get back to want again. david: mr. mulcair. mr. mulcair: canada is a country of immigrants unless you are an unit and that is what helped build this great country. i cannot be prouder to tell you that my wife cap and immigrated to canada and she is one of many people who has contributed so much. i think we can be so proud of that. under mr. harper's conservatives, we have a closing the door more and more on certain aspects of immigration. mr. trudeau referenced it and he is right. family reification is essential and it has been a part of our immigration system. it has been shut down under mr. harper's conservatives. i believe the best social program is united family and you have that strong family based there allowing people to come in. it cannot be considered as conservatives always call it a burden for society. i can do something that contributes a great if you on temporary foreign workers, i
know they left that program in shambles. it was critical to help in areas like agriculture, but it went off and on different directions. harper admitted it was in total shambles. there's one final point -- mr. harper recognized the condition of foreign diplomas and credentials. unfortunately, it is still the number one cause of unemployment in immigrants. i used to be chair of the quebec professions board. i have a lot of experience on this. i know we can do a lot more to help that. p.m. harper: i'm not sure you have a secret meeting with the media. [laughter] you have managed it, mr. harper. under the first 10 years of this government, we have seen family reunification rise by 20%. under the previous liberal government, it went down by nearly 50% in the first few years of office as the cut that immigration levels. i think people understand that the new canadians and little party talks a good game, but did not deliver. we have 2.5 million newcomers in
this country who are --rwhelming intricately contributed positively to this country. their growing our economy and working hard and this is one of the most positive things about this country. we are able to control the illegal immigration to have the best record on immigration and success in immigration anywhere in the world. i think it is something we should all be proud of. mr. trudeau: mr. harper has demonstrated that canada is not doing enough. this is something that mr. harper has unfortunately done a number of times. he likes to talk about standing up against tyrants and dictators and against terrorists, but you know who stands up against dictators and terrorists? families fighting to keep their families together. they crossed the oceans and make it to canada and what does mr. harper did? o? take away the health care. we need to be a country that is open and welcoming. yes, we need to be concerned about security, but we do not take that as the excuse to close our doors.
in years past, whether it was joe clark, a conservative prime minister who brought in tens of thousands of vietnamese boat people, whether it was other governments who welcome to other people who built and contributed to this country -- we need to once again be open, generous country not naive. we need to make sure we are doing security right and not using it as an excuse to do less than we should in the vast majority of canadians, including mayors and seniors feel we should. david: let us bring it back to the comic. p.m. harper: lenny correctly record. -- let me correct the record. first of all, the fact that the matter is that we have not taken away health care from immigrants and refugees. on the contrary, the only time we removed it is when we have bogus refugee clements who have been refused and turned down. we do not offer them the better health care plan than an ordinary canadian can receive. mr. trudeau: that is not true, mr. harper could p.m. harper r. p.m. harper: that is something
old stock canadians can agree on. mr. trudeau: that is not true. p.m. harper: what i said we will not do is that these guys with in the last two weeks their open our borders and literally hundreds of thousands of people come and that any kind of security check or documentation. that would've been an anonymous mistake. mr. trudeau: mr. harborplace fears all the time. we have a prime minister who prefers to pander to fears. david: let us go to mr. mulcair. mr. mulcair: canadians want a prime minister who understands the sense of urgency we all feel when we see the current crisis in syria. unfortunately ended his undignified, it is fear mongering. it is completely false to affirm that any parties in canada want to throw open the doors to people without any regard to to security. rick hilliard, who is no less an authority than former chief of defense staff, said last week
that we have to stop using security concerns. mr. harper, stop using the security excuse as a pretext to do nothing. nobody wants to let some of the and without a security check. p.m. harper: we are announcing bring in more refugees. we are bringing them and more quickly. we are providing a matching fund for humanitarian support. even under the most generous refugee policy, the vast majority of these millions of people will remain in those countries and will need our assistance. those are the things we're doing. mr. mulcair: you will not do it. you asked for 46 thousands over the next four years and you won't do it. that is the united nations asking that. p.m. harper: it is not the kind of reckless approach that these two parliament -- parties wanted. canada has done more in the past and we need to do more right now. 20.ill do more on october david: the next topic is
housing. mr. trudeau, canadians have been on a borrowing binge to buy more expensive homes. what would you do to guard against the housing bubble? mr. trudeau: the fact is for many canadians their entire economic security is in their home. it is their savings and retirement. we need to make sure that while housing prices was -- prices rise, incomes are rising as well. middle-class canadians believe their jobs are giving them better and other salaries that they can get raises. in order to do that, we need to create economic growth. we need to reassure canadians that the economy is going to grow at the same pace as the house values. that is not what mr. harper has delivered. he has the worst record on of the greataths depression. there are many other canadians facing challenges around housing because they cannot find rental housing. that is why the liberal party has a plan to increase investment in home construction of rental units, tell seniors with the cost of their rents by
increasing gifs and making sure that we give people the support needed to be able to get their homes and have the economic security. david: would you restrict foreign ownership of essential homes? mr. trudeau: i think one of the things resting and a number of places its concern on that. we do not have enough accurate data to understand what is happening. one of the reasons is that mr. harper has chosen to cut the longform census and it leaves us with less understand. toeral party is committed restoring the longform census to have the kind of data to respond to local challenges like you speak of. what we need to be as the federal government is a much better partner to municipalities and be able to address challenges that are being faced in our major centers like vancouver or toronto. also the challenges are being felt right from the country from their struggling find
first homes and struggling to find rental housing and need help to get the economic ladder success that has always been there for canadians, but has not been over the past 10 years. that is what the liberal plan to invest in the future of our country is all about. david: mr. mulcair, what would you do to help the squeezed middle class who have high mortgages and property taxes? mr. mulcair: the first thing that canadians should recall is the last time that liberals were in power, they canceled canada's national housing strategy. it is also worth knowing that there were 35,000 homeless in canada right now. what we would do and i gave an example earlier of our quality affordable childcare at a maximum of $15 a day. here in calgary and toronto and lots of other cities, parents are paying well over $20,000 it. or childcare. it is simply unaffordable. young people today have the largest student that gillespie i
met lots of young people who are thinking of having a family, but and look at the cost reconciliation of balancing their life and the family and their work, it is extremely difficult. we make sure to put money in the pockets with affordable childcare and we would bring in as a model for others with regards to the 100,000 people we give a race to -- a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour. david: ", mr. harper. -- open floor, mr. harper. p.m. harper: i think the housing story is a very positive story in this country. you look around the world where there have been these financial crisis and a lot of them center around the housing market. in canada, we have seen home ownership rise to record levels. we have higher homeownership in the united states because people have been able to take avenge of lower interest rates when their job prospects have been good and incomes have been growing. that is a positive canadian story that we should celebrate. how do we in this unstable
global economy continue to protect that going forward? we bring a specific incentives to help homeowners. for instance, the home renovation tax credit we are bringing forward. the improvements to the homebuyers plan. the doubling of contributions to -- what savings account allows people to invest more in their homes. what we do not need when our economy is threatened is tax increases. a permanent deficit. these are risks that we cannot afford and they are not good for homeowners. harper talksmr. about growth, but he has not been able to get it on for 10 years. he has the worst growth record in 80 years of any prime minister. we know how to grow the economy. we invest in the economy once again. interest rates are low. our debt to gdp is low and the economy and economic growth has been flat. economyto kick start of -- our economy and that's what we're going to do so people can
get better jobs and a for their homes. mr. mulcair is talking about childcare. the fact is that a young family with a two-year-old does not need childcare eight years from now when the kid is in grade five. they need it right away. mr. mulcair is not making a choice that will allow you to invest in his promises they are possible smoking -- they are puffs of smoke. you need to invest in the future of this country. you can make jokes on you like. this is canadians having trouble making ends meet and your offering a national minimum wage that will not touch 99%. david: mr. mulcair. mr. mulcair: this is what we are offering, mr. trudeau. he had 13 years the last time you read power to get to childcare. it was for successive liberal red looks good you know how many successive states you created? zero. quality affordable childcare is a priority. mr. trudeau: if e provinces
kick in billions of dollars. david: what message do you give to millennial's today who are try to get onto the property run? mr. mulcair: we have a prime minister who just said he thinks it is a good idea that a bungalow and a lot of our suburbs in places like vancouver and shall honor is totally out of reach for them. look at the cost of housing and some are major cities. it is out of control. at the same time, mr. harper says it is ok. i have a renovation tax credit. how do you renovate a house you cannot afford to buy in the first place? we will start by putting more money in people's pockets. affordable childcare is one of them. we will give a race to 100,000 people earning the federal minimum wage or less. 15 minimum wage, it is a good signal to the provinces to do the same thing and bring up a living wage. i think somebody that works full-time should not be living in poverty. p.m. harper: i've spoken to a lot of canadians earning minimum wage. they work in shops and grocery checkout lines. mr. trudeau: you're giving them
false hope by talking about a $15 national minimum wage. your promising a mission when which -- your promising and e.tional minimum wag it is not touch 99%. 99% of canadians earning minimum wage are not going to be affected. david: mr. harper. mr. trudeau voted for this on september 22 and now he is campaigning against this. mr. trudeau: false promises you are making. you pretend a national minimum wage is a significant np it's not going to help 99% of people earning minimum wage. david: let's go to mr. harper. p.m. harper: we are not bring a home renovation tax credit. we are bringing in a home buyers plan for families to get their first home.
we have done a lot of things to encourage homeownership. in this of rising costs foreign speculation, we are prepared to act on that. the data show that is really a problem. doing oring -- we are things to help canadian families. we have delivered the universal childcare benefit. we are increasing the and income tax. [crosstalk] mr. trudeau: they want to send checks to millionaires just because they have children. we do not think that's fair. we are to stop sending those checks to people who don't need it we can send checks to the
people who do needed and lift 350,000 kids out of poverty. that will make a significant difference in the lives of people who need it. host: we moved to taxation. mr. mulcair, you say you will raise the corporate tax rate from the current 15% to 17%. what economic rather than political reason justifies your decision? mr. mulcair: mr. harper and mr. deductionsieve that to the largest and most profitable corporations work well but that is not so. we've lost manufacturing jobs and there are 300,000 more people unemployed today than when the first recession hit. so canada large corporations
will go back to something resembling their fair share but it will be less than the average under the conservatives. we are asking all canadians to pay their fair share. at the same time, we are not going to wait like esther harper would. we are to start to reduce the waste on job creators. are going to close stock loopholebecause those are the types of loopholes that exist for the rich. we will make sure they pay more tax. if corporation move their taxes elsewhere -- mr. mulcair: mr. harper has done nothing against tax havens. we have cases where there are full lists of canadians using tax hens and mr. harper has done nothing about that. at the same time, there will be an approach to make sure the
wealthiest start paying their fair share. when we made that announcement, we looked at years of promises by the millennial -- iv liberals talking about millennial's. asa company as well the -- well as canada, hundreds of thousands of children go to school without having eaten. we will take the stock option loophole and dedicate dollar for dollar to lift his children and their families out of poverty. that is direct action that other parties have talked about for years but have done nothing about. the corporations will start paying something resembling their fair share. but their approach does not work and we will change it. you will not raise taxes. how do you raise federal revenues? we have cut taxes and the corporate tax revenues are rising because we have a
competitive environment that intent -- that attracts investment. iso back to what mr. mulcair saying -- why is the federation of canadian is this is saying his plan will cause draw -- will cause job loss? we have seen this playbook everywhere. they cla they're going to balance the budget through tax increases and what happens? we end up with job losses. that's what we have in power in ontario and it is columbia and we see the exact same story here in alberto. we are having a round of layoffs because of business tax increases of the ndp. rates --ompetitive tax they are not superlow, but they are competitive. this is something we need to protect our economy and create jobs. permanent deficits do not create jobs. mr. trudeau: mr. harper is talking about the ran -- the
round of layoffs here in alberto. that's how we create the kind of support now when there is an opportunity and thousands of people are out of work with skills that can be put to work in building our country right now and in the years to come up on taxes, we have then very clear. we feel overall, canadians pay enough that the middle class should pay less and the wealthiest canadian should pay more. i will do what my two opponents will not -- i will raise taxes on the wealthiest 1% so we can cut them for the middle class. likes to talk about fair share, but what he is going to do will do nothing to tax the bank executives who get paid high salaries because it will prevent the banks or executives to hire more people in their economy. mr. mulcair: mr. trudeau's very first vote was to back mr. harper is corporate tax
giveaways. one of his last votes in to vote for bill c 51 which seriously compromised the rights and freedoms of all canadians. we stood up against it even when it was highly popular. that is leadership. we are talking about canadians getting ahead in your talking up the same kind of divisions and fear. mr. harper wants to talk about terrorist hiding behind every leaf and mr. mulcair wants to pretend we've lift -- we've ripped up rights and freedoms and are in a police state. these are the politics of fear which the liberal party refuses to stand for. liftxes, we have a plan to 315,000 kids out of poverty by increasing child benefit payments to families who need it.
we are going to ask the wealthiest to pay a little more so that we can lower taxes for the middle class. this is something that neither harper willnor mr. do. it's not about politics, it's about doing the right thing, recognizing that there has not been the kind of growth canadians need. create will actually opportunities for themselves, their families and communities. let me be clear on what we have done. the federal taxes for small businesses have been brought down 40% and will go down further. 11 million canadians are benefiting from tax cuts. it's million adults benefit from that. millions of people will want to use or be able to use -- we are
enhancing savings plans and we wrought in the cuts come in the broadest tax cut that benefited every canadian. this is why no conservative paper ran an article comparing canadians were our disposable income has been moving ahead where everyone else is falling behind. notre the only party talking about raising any of your taxes going forward. this is the kind of plan we need, not one that issue a small business tax cut and then comes in and hammers your employer as -- with an arm's payroll tax increase. we just saw disposable income for families has hit 165%. canadians are more indebted now
than we have ever been. that's why we need the government to create opportunities by investing in better transit and childcare spaces. medication --s investing in infrastructure that will create the kind of jobs going forward we know we need. we are being absolutely straight about it. we are going to run modest deficits for the next three years because arlington has never been cheaper because of low interest rates and our debt to gdp ratio is healthy and going lower and because the economy is going flat and canadian jobs. we have a plan to kickstart the economy to make it easier for the mill class to get ahead and easier for people who want to join the middle class to succeed. that is what we are putting forward and right now, neither mr. harper nor mr. mulcair has a plan to do that.
mr.: -- mr. mulcair: trudeau says small business owners are tax. it should be reminded that they create more than 80% of the jobs in our country. .hey deserve a tax rate that is the way of the future. that is not the experience i've seen with the mom-and-pop options. thank you to the three leaders. while the leaders catch their breath, we will move to the second part of the evening. this part has a different pace to it. it is said in the old days, the electorate used to choose their datasentatives, but now as
becomes more sophisticated, politicians are able to choose as well as ignore key demographics. it affects everything from policy to selection to view the -- to who the policy chooses to talk to. wish me luck as i try to push the leaders author well rehearsed notes and give them the opportunity to explain themselves more thoroughly and hopefully with fewer interruptions from the others. i will last leader the specific question followed by an exchange between myself and that leader before turning it to open debate. the leaders have no prior knowledge of these questions. i'm going to start with mr. mulcair. you lead a party that has never run the country. why should the electorate and the national economy to you? mr. mulcair: thank you and that is the key question because after 100 50 years of being told we have no choice and when we are tired of the liberal
sponsorship scandal, we have to alternate to the conservative and when we are tired of the conservative scandal and then hold on for the first time in our history, there is another choice. the party with the best record for balanced budgets. tommy douglas took over the promise of saskatchewan after liberal rule ran 17 consecutive balanced budgets and put in medicare. kids. from a family of 10 we had to work hard and live within our means. values that guided me as a father and grandfather and husband. those are the values and guide me in the future. we will make people are top priority. we brought in medicare with tommy douglas and we will bring in childcare across canada. host: your biography is called "straight of conviction" but is thatwillingness to avoid
at all costs part of your opportunism or is that a political play? of mulcair: i've been part local life for 30 years and practiced law for 10 years but i have always serve the public. my wife is a psychologist who psychologists -- in psychology -- we all serve the public. this is a more noble calling. sure when mye granddaughter goes to university, she does not have to ros level people are borrowing at today. i don't want to do like mr. trudeau and leave a massive debt on the back of future generations. leaving no deficit is a challenge to the m.d. the path fabric. we know the only
way to bring in something as important as quality, affordable childcare is to build on a solid foundation. for us, that means a balanced budget. 2008, we were in the worst recession since the 1930's. of course, everyone agrees we have to spend at that time. we don't want to leave more billions on the backs of future generations. we are leaving a massive ecological and social debt. they don't need the economic debt as well. host: this is a recurring issue -- that is what all of your visions are for this great country. what will you do to build a new economy? mr. mulcair: one of the things we will do is make sure it is a knowledge base -- a knowledge based economy. the only way to create new wealth is to create new knowledge. canada has to play a more active role. marie and ilt ste. was in a young couples home.
they said they had $130,000 of student debt with a $20,000 a year childcare fee. when is that couples was to start thinking of starting a family? that is the reality and having children is a good thing for the couple and a good thing for the economy. this right for the future. my priority is always going to be doing what we did when we brought in medicare. we want to make sure our social programs are on a solid footing. mr. mulcair keeps talking about investing in our future and doing the right adding for families who need our help, except you cannot put forward a plan for investment harper'slan on stephen budget. it takes the optimism we need once again to invest in our future summits no canadians are capable of building a stronger .uture
after the low growth we have had for many years, it is time to kickstart the economy. i'm worried about saddling my kids with a lack of jobs, a lack of good infrastructure and a lack of a future because the government did not want to invest in our country. this is what our plan is all about -- rolling a stronger future. mr. mulcair is putting it off. he has made alan thing stephen harper's budget his priority which means he cannot give canadians the help they need the way we will. i am being straight and honest. parties havef all in the past have said we are going to balance the book and then the numbers are worse than we thought. what i'm going to do. i'm being honest with the canadians -- we are going to run deficits and invest in the future canadians need right now. mr. mulcair: the whole essence
of his plan is that he will balance the budget through tax hikes. manitoba is in a massive deficit, albertus deficit has gotten larger since they took office. tax hikes do not grow the economy or create jobs. they kill jobs and hurt revenues. says we will have greater optimism by spending more. i thinthis is what canadians here. we make sure we are making investments in the things we need to. and infrastructure training and innovation. we we do that in a way that can continue to afford without raising taxes by having a balance budget. i think that is an important guarantee for people's future and why they should be optimistic.
mr. trudeau: you don't understand is that what canadians cannot afford us to be stuck in traffic every morning because there's no reliable public transit. you been stuck in a motorcade for the past 10 years but most radians are very aware that transit underinvestment is a drag on our economy. i have talked with me its palette these and provinces across the country who need a reliable partner to step up and invest. serious economists across this country have said we have a plan that is exactly what we need. no less than the person you appointed to head up the council , kevin lynch, set a plan for investment right now is what we need. the former chair of the bank of canada, a list of the former budgetary parliament offices have said now is the time to invest. not because we are cheery and optimistic, but because
countries that believe in their future are willing to invest in their future and that is what we have. p.m. harper: we have the largest infrastructure investment in history right now, including options -- transit mr. trudeau: at election time. p.m. harper: look at the numbers. we are doing it without raising your taxes. says he hasdeau politicians telling him to spend more. you have to be able to know when to safeguard the options. our plan is based on long-term vision. we know what has to be accomplished. approachr short term about were talking before iephen harper's budget, but
can guarantee you i have never voted for one of his budget and your very first vote as a member of parliament was to vote for his tax giveaway to canada plus largest corporation. jack laytontee you and i thought that every single step of the way. host: i think what we are seeing is an extraordinary exchange of the ndp and the liberal party. taxing the richest and then spending it -- why should canadians who are up to their eyes in debt be encouraged by your message? raisingeau: we are taxes on the wealthiest 1% so that we can cut them for the middle class. that is the shift we feel we need.
aboutn hear him talking inequality all of time, except they are not doing anything about it. is goingliberal party to ask people who have been very successful to do a little bit more so we can put money in the pockets of people who actually need it. that is what our approaches. on top of that and aside from that, are going to make historic investments in the future of our country because canadians need transit, growth, bridges, clean water, wastewater treatment -- we need things that are going to create good jobs for canadians now as they build them and could jobs and prosperity going toward as our communities do better. that is not left or right. that is what canada needs. we know you propose a modest deficits against the $2
trillion economy. what do you consider to be the biggest single challenge you face? when i look for the cost of your platform, i cannot add it up. mr. trudeau: we were the first party to put out a fully costed framework was saying we were going to put out a modest deficit so we can balance books in 29th seen. what canada needs right now is growth. unable to has been deliver it having the worst growth record of any prime minister since the depths of the great depression is a plan to grow the economy. you do that by investing in our communities, in transit, in green infrastructure, the kinds of things are going to contribute. let's go back to the infrastructure bank -- water facilities -- are these areas
that are part of the federal government postural? -- federal government's role? mr. trudeau: our role is to serve citizens with annuities and provinces. we will respond to the needs canadians have on the ground to improve their quality of life. that is what the federal government should be but it is not what the federal government has been over the past decade as mr. harper has refused to engage in not been a solid harder to meet its palette these in the transit and infrastructure investments that are needed. we are in alberto and there's clear since structural changes happening in the economy. what are your policies to build that new economy? one of the facts we're looking at is because of the challenges with low oil prices, we have construction and
engineering multinationals here in calgary who are suddenly hitting on local contract that they have never had the bandwidth to do before. this is the time to invest in your hometown. and we needstep up to step up as a government to be there from infidelity like calgary who are trying to create new avenues of opportunity. this is exactly the moment to invest -- when interest rates are low, and that to gdp is low and the economy has been flat because mr. harper has not that that for his hometown or anywhere across the country. host: let's go to open floor and mr. harper. before,per: as i said we are making record investments in our infrastructure right now, including a federal infrastructure program rolling out across the country. but let's be frank about mr. trudeau's plan.
he went around the country and promised far more money than he actually has an found out taxing a few wealthy people does not cover that. now he's trying to run thing deficits are a good thing. we did a lot of work to make sure we came out of deficits, cutting our social programs. this is a guarantee to people. when we have lowered your taxes, when mr. they down and trudeau gets us off the anchor of a balanced budget, it goes on forever and gets worse. that is not a risk you or our economy in our fragile economic environment can afford. mr. trudeau: you have run deficits in good years come you have run deficits in bad years. the only time you have said deficits are not going to be run is in election years. the fact of the matter is you have stood on stage is like these, looked at canadians three times and promised not to bring
in deficits, yet that is exactly what you have done. the reason we are stuck in deficits for so long is because you don't understand giving tax breaks and benefits to the wealthiest canadians is not a to develop the economy. you have the worst job creation record since world war ii of any prime minister and that is what canadians are feeling. you are disconnected from people's reality and we need once again to get this country investing in its own future. correct the let me facts. we ran surpluses before the financial crisis came. we told canadians we were running a massive stimulus program and it would be temporary and the deficit would fall until it is eliminated. we have done exactly that on exactly the schedule we said we would do. why would we return to deficits
now when we have an unstable economy and need to make sure we can ensure people. on july 19, back mr. trudeau gave a press conference in which he said he would allen's the budgets nonstop. a couple of weeks after that, he announced he would launch $10 billion year in investments. but that is exactly what he is planning to do. you oner advisors tell thing and another that are totally contradictory, pick one. you cannot they them both. your first vote in canadian parliament was to vote for mr. harper have tax cuts for the wealthy. i am looking straight at canadians and being honest the way i always have. we have said we are committed to balance budgets, and we are.
we will balance that budget in 2019. mr. harper claims made no cuts to social programs. i'm sorry. when you set down and announced you would be cutting the funding formula by of $236 billion for health care, that is called cutting social programs. under this government, our -- sfers for p.m. harper: that number will grow every year into the future. mr. mulcair: you raised the age from 65 to six to seven. you did not make that announcement to a group of minors in sudbury. you made that announcement in this without. that is political courage? you are cutting social programs.
you like to talk about the fact that you voted against it -- [crosstalk] he -- mr. mulcair: he promised to increase health care transfers. host: thank you. we move to the final question of the debate and it goes to mr. harper. you are going to need some new ideas. the oil patch resources in aneral are going to be smaller part and it is clear canada is no longer a champion on many -- -- many international data points. we have record household that,
we have minimal growth and in many cases, we have stagnant wages. why do you deserve more time? p.m. harper: i don't accept what you just said. whether it's income growth or job growth, we have done better than all the major developing economies. it has not been great because we are living in a risky and unstable global economy. a portion of our economy has been hit by falling oil prices. it concerns me and it affects people i know personally. that,l do something about but to suggest that has been all there is to our policy is false. taxes,icy is based on getting them down, keeping them down and making them competitive -- training, making sure we are investing in things where we know there is labor demand in the future. markets andning
having access to half of global gdp. reforming the immigration system and making it more effective and making investments in infrastructure. that is why i believe the canadians are optimistic. you say to the auto sector as you look at the pacific trade land? p.m. harper: we know that there are concerns. we are entering the final stages of trade discussion in the asia-pacific that i think will conclude successfully, that will be the basis of the global trade network in the asia-pacific for the generation to come. i'm not suggesting they will like everything in that but we simply cannot afford as a country to have our auto sector shutout of the global supply chain. we will make sure we get the best deal for that and all of our sectors but we are committed
to making sure we don't fall behind and access to a global trading economy. that would be disastrous for the country. host: you know the challenges and problems that come that cannot be predicted. you are facing an economy that demands new thinking. what are you thinking of for the new economy? had we turned this into knowledge and the sharing economy? p.m. harper: i have come to work for seven years in a row with nothing but economic crisis around the world. we now have market chaos in china, the falling commodity prices. we do have to respond to these crises but we also have to operate on a long-term plan and that's a we are doing.
that's not only just about resources but also including resources. i don't want to suggest that we are not going to have a vibrant resource sector. the fact we have unparalleled resources and endowment, one of the most highly educated workforces is in the world. canada is able to weather the global economic storm's and we are committed to making sure all the sectors move forward together. host: thank you very much, mr. harper. i will now go to mr. mulcair. one of the questions the prime minister responded to is in respect to his vision. what you think we can do beyond the buffeting winds with oil prices? m.p. mulcair: it's possible to build a canada more generous and prosperous.
mr. harper tends to believe everyone is on their own and i think we're all in this together. i do come from a very large family and times were tough but i've seen what it is one people work together and try to give each other that helping hand. i also know that it's time people started looking at us differently. i want a democratic institutions respected at home and are international invitation respected abroad. what to make sure every young person gets the opportunities they need and that our seniors get the help they deserve. that's what we proposed to raise the guaranteed income supplement. host: what do you say to mr. harper's position that the liberals will love for deficit but then there will be slippage? m.p. trudeau: on the contrary. the reason mr. harper has not been able to get out of deficit
is he isn't creating growth and he has cut spending to veterans programs. they are important element in building our economy and making sure we are creating proper partnerships and moving our resources and creating educational opportunities for young people across the country by investing in the liberal platform $2.6 billion. we have a lot we need to do to invest in growing this economy. mr. harper thinks giving tax cuts to the wealthiest canadians will create growth. mr. mulcair talks about the right things but he will not be able to act on them because he has backloaded his promises and he has committed to balance when we don't need balance with low interest rates right now and a declining debt to gdp ratio and
a flat economy. we need to invest in our future. that's what confident economies do and that's what the liberal party is proposing. if the right plan to help canadians now. p.m. harper: when it came out the other day that we actually had a surplus last year, mr. trudeau immediately came out and said that's because they cut seniors and infrastructure. spending in those areas has actually gone up and the will rebalance the budget is we increase revenues by cutting taxes. we're not saying in this fragile global economy everything's great. we have significant risks and challenges. we are making sure we are investing in the things that
will cause long-term growth and that will help people to get education and higher taxes and permanent deficits is a risk that buys nothing for people. m.p. mulcair: mr. harper was elected on a promise to change ottawa but it ottawa that changed mr. harper. corruption has increased and other what has become a more divisive place. our relationships with the provinces are more divisive and mean. i come out of provincial politics. it's my job to sit on regularly to work with them on important issues facing them and things we want to bring forward like quality affordable childcare. m.p. trudeau: one of the things i think it's clear is i disagree with these gentlemen on a number
of things but the main thing i disagree with is their lack of an vision for our country. mr. harper once you to think better isn't possible. that's not true. mr. mulcair talks about making things better but will not act on it. host: there you have it. the much-anticipated debate on the economy. i like to thank everyone who has joined does and made this evening possible and to the mayor in calgary for hosting us. you believe in the national debate and i'm sure you agree we got one tonight. a final word of thanks to the three leaders, mr. harper, mr. mulcair, mr. trudeau, we wish you well and we know you have a
common interest in doing the best for canada, just a different way of doing it. stay with us. we are carrying the postdebate later. first, james haver joint is not to begin the postdebate debate. thank you and have a good evening. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] francis has begun his overseas trip that find him in cuba today where he celebrated mass in havana's revolution square. the pope offered spiritual and political messages for the tens of thousands who packed the plaza. this is the first leg of a 10 day trip that includes tops in the u.s.
c-span has coverage of the popes visit getting tuesday with his arrival at joint base andrews where he will be treated by president obama and the first lady. on wednesday, we are live at the white house or artificial official opening ceremony and we follow that later in the day with coverage of the mass held at the basilica of the national shrine. on thursday, the pontiff addresses a joint meeting of congress before he addresses -- before he heads to philadelphia. you can see those events and more live here on c-span and online at span.org. "q&a" -- the 2016 presidential campaign and the similarities between donald trump and 1992 presidential candidate and businessman ross perot. >> the themes are really overlapping. the celebrity factor was not
there with ross perot in the same way it attracts people to trump. people throw themselves at trump for his autograph and picture and there's the power of personality that ross perot did not have. the republican party's relationship with trump has been rocky this year. not tone it down on immigration and now he has signed this pledge, but who knows what this pledges worth? happen this year -- he keeps talking about wanting to be treated fairly. , ifnything, unpredictable and he could run as an independent regardless of this ledge. c-span's tonight on "q&a." servicesa senate armed committee hearing on combating isis.
there was testimony on the training of syrian fighters and the defense department investigation involving central command possibly skewing isis intelligence. also testifying was the defense undersecretary for policy. this is two hours. operations counter islamic state of iraq or isil. i want to thank the witnesses under secretary wormuth and general austin for appearing before us today and their continued service to our nation. it's been one year since president obama spoke to the nation about the threat posed by isil and increased to u.s. military operations against us. many of us believe the goal of the present laid out quote to degrade and ultimately destroy isil is right. many of us agree the military strategy that seeks to empower local horses and i dashed to combat isil. with training equipment assistance in their power one year into this campaign seems
impossible assert that isil is losing and we are winning. if you are not winning in this warfare you are losing. stalemate is not success. it is accurate that we have conducted thousands of airstrikes against isil trucks and fighters bunkers and buildings. this conjures the illusion of progress but what effect does that have to wax some territory in the margin mainly the shiite and kurdish forces but isil was consolidating control of its territories and expanded control in sia. he continues to dominate sunni-arab areas in iraq and syria and maintains control of key cities like mosul fallujah and ramonic at efforts to take take -- ramadi and efforts to retake those have stalled entirely. it is now operating in afghanistan, yemen, libya and egypt and other radical islamic groups like boko haram in
nigeria and al-shabaab and somalia have pledged allegiance to isil. this appearance of success only enhances isil's ability to radicalize recruit and grow. published media reports suggest the cia's estimate of isil's manpower has remained constant despite u.s. airstrikes which did just either they were wrong to begin with or that isil is replacing in real-time. this committee is disturbed by recent whistleblower allegations that officials at central command skewed intelligence assessments to paint an overly positive picture of conditions on the ground. we are currently investigating these allegations which we take with the utmost seriousness. the department of defense should as well and those responsible must be held accountable. ultimately it's not that we are doing nothing to counter isil. it is that there is no compelling reason to believe
anything we are currently doing will be sufficient to achieve our strategic objective of degrading and ultimately destroying isil. the united states and our partners do not have the initiative. our enemies do. caitalizing on our inadequate policy to maintain and enhance initiative as they hav for the past four years. indeed the situation on the ground is not taking it another dramatic turn for the worse as several recent events make clear. recent published reports state u.s. officials believe isil is using mustard gas and may even be manufacturing these chemical weapons by themselves. whether isil is manufacturing chemical weapons themselves required -- acquired from former or current stocks by bashar al-assad this is a scenario for our partners in the middle east and for us. the same time the united states ever to train and equip syrian rebels to fight eyes of his
clearly unfortunately failing. the goal was 3000 fighters in the first year this program has trained and equipped 54 fighters some of whom were killed or captured by al qaeda as soon as they return to syria. this program the administration promise would result in a viable indigenous ground force in syria has yet to produce any significant effects on the battlefield. they fixation with perfect setting in the congress and the administration is good shooting to this. far worse has been the administration's requirement that this new syrian force could only fight isil not the assad regime which has killed far more serious than isil and the presidents refusal until weeks ago to authorize close air support another military assistance to ensure our syrian partners would be successful. unfortunately these contradictions were clear from the beginning and many members
of this committee warned the administration to change course or their failure to do so has squandered a lot of time, money and worst of all credibility. this committee to continue supporting this program we need major changes. into this vacuum has stepped vladimir putin. as in ukraine and elsewhere he has cautioned weakness and is taking advantage according to media reports putin has deployed strike aircraft tanks howitzers personnel carriers marines and housing for up to 1500 personnel and military bases in western syria. this is an expansion of russian power in the middle east that we have not seen for decades and it will allow putin to further prop up assad with this indiscriminate killing machine play kingmaker undermine u.s.
goals policies and operations and ultimately prolong this horrific conflict. the main beneficiary will be isil. many of us have said from the beginning, from the beginning that the conflict in syria would not be contained and for four years we have seen evidence of that. the hundreds of thousands dead and the millions of displaced people the use of chemical weapons in the rise of the worst terrorist army in the world. now we are seeing the latest manifestation of this failed policy the flood of people pouring out of the middle east has led to the worst refugee crisis in europe since world war ii. the administration is promised except 10,000 refugees in the coming years. hat's a noble gesture but unless we address the cause of his crisis which is the continued conflict in syria the refugees will keep coming. isil will grow stronger in the middle east will descend further
into chaos and u.s. national security interest will be put at greater risk. for four years we have been told that there is no military solution to this conflict as if anyone believes there is. and there are no good options. as if anybody believes there are better influence is limited as if that has not always been the case. we will not succeed overnight as if our problem is one of time and not policy and that we cannot solve every problem in the middle east as if that solves us of our responsibility to make the situation better where we can. this is not a question of our capacity or capabilities or options. we have options between doing nothing and evading -- invading iraq and syria. many members have suggested such options for years now and they're still relevant. we need to put an end to assad's
ability to use airpower against his people especially the use of horrific barrel bombs, shoot down planes that dropped barrel bombs that slaughter innocent civilians. one of the leading killers of innocent civilians. we need to establish safe zones inside of syria where refugees and displaced people can be secure. we need forward air comtrollers to add precision and lethality to our air campaign. we need to make significant changes to improve and expand our iraqi forces and while no one believes that we need to invade iraq or syria but that is that we will likely need additional u.s. special forces and military advisers to be successful. i hope our witnesses will not repeat her desired policy goals in the list of technical achievements and talk about quote nine lines of effort. we have heard all of that before. but we have yet to hear a theory
of victory. i hope we hear one today. senator reid. >> thank you very much mr. chairman secretary wormuth and general austin welcome. this hearing continues -- to counter isil in the middle east africa and south asia. it takes extreme ideological and protect its including the use of chemical weapons. isil is gain control of syria and iraq erasing the border between these countries. this violent extremist group has enslaved women and girls in carried out horrific attacks in and ethnic and religious minorities and broadcast its barbaric acts on social media. to escape the violence of isil the assad regime and multiple other elements millions have been displaced or fled outside of iraq and syria. the plane has added to the sensitive urgency to restoring
restoring -- in a region. while the coalition pushes isil out of some territories including gains by the peshmerga in the north and iraqi security forces and the removal of isil along sections of the border with turkey the self-described islamic state continues to hold key cities including iraq a dan balz on iraq. there executed forces counter is to take back has struggled and brashear remains contested. the same time iranian backed shia militias have stalled their operations near fallujah and despite it's -- isil is consolidating its control of the population in the areas that holds in syria and iraq. the recent agreement between a state and turkey expanding access to land and use of turkish airbases seeking an isil free zone on the syrian border
is an important step forward how are the provocative deplmel mils under the guise of assisting and encountering isil efforts appears to be an effort by putin to prop up the assad regime further complicating efforts to restore security in syria. these events have raised concerns of whether the current efforts against isil is sufficient. critical issue for the military isil strategies the progress of train and equip program. while the u.s.-led air campaign has had an effect integrating isil effective local forces can take full advantage of coalition airpower siege ground from iceland hold it. in iraq operations require recruiting's to give numbers of sunnis into the iraqi security forces and equipping them to assist the isil thread. i am concerned sunni recruitment has fallen short of its target and the government of iraq has
been slowing in arming sunni forces. we will be interested in your assessment. general i hope you'll address intensify military operations to counter the isil threat. for example would you support a more active role in the us military personnel in facilitating the engagement of sunni tribes are providing advisers in the ministry of defense or accompanying iraqi security forces on a limited basis with direct contact with the enemy is not anticipated. isil problem is not geographically bound by syria and iraq and isil appeared in yemen afghanistan egypt libya nigeria the horn of africa and the caucasus and elsewhere. i'm interested in your assessment of the group's growth in the region and how centcom is
pitcher batting to regional efforts to combat the group. ultimately the success of the counter isil has been nonmilitary at also. whether the international coalition including states in the region can effectively counter isil's propaganda financing and the spread of this extreme ideology and whether political solution can be found to the crisis in syria. these issues their primary responsibility of the department of defense but i assume our witnesses agree these issues are integral to our conference of approach encountering isil threat. general austin i hope you also to the extent possible given the ongoing review by the inspector general to ask questions involving intelligence assessments with respect to isil. as importantly wait for the investigation before completed
before making a judgment i've no doubt you'll take such allegations are serious wasas we do in congress and we take them seriously. like senator mccain the committee will be kept apprised of this investigation and be active in terms of the recommendations. let me thank both witnesses further testimony this morning. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you chair and mccain and ranking member rate as well as members of the committee think given the opportunity opportunity to be here today to give an update on the military aspect of our kinds are isil campaign is a pleasure to be here with general austin. we work closely together everyday on a range of issues so it's nice to be here with him today. as the chairman said it's been just over a year since united states and the coalition of nations began a military campaign against isil tailor made began that campaign about a year ago i saw was pushing into kurdish territory in northern iraq and pushing towards baghdad
over the past 12 months isil has lost territory in both syria and iraq despite advances its maiden ramadi. progress has been slow but steady. there's definitely been setbacks in the past year. while not 10 feet tall i iso- remains an enemy that adapt to evolving positions on the battlefield. our train and equip programs in iraq and syria have faced challenges. iraq the pace of our program is moved more slowly than we would like and its area of the stringent criteria we are using at the outset of the program has contributed to smaller numbers than we had hoped for. as a military campaign continues in both countries would expect there will continue to be challenges clearing and holding territory. but we have also seen progress in the past year. you are all familiar with the successful operations to take back kurdish territory in iraq to defeat iceland kobani and until recently retake to create as well as other successful engagements. on the political front prime
minister of body continues to demonstrate the resolve necessary to confront isil and it's driving to manage what is a very difficult political landscape in baghdad. in syria we have seen opportunities emerge that we didn't envision a year ago particularly in the northern part of the country were syrian kurds working with syrian arabs have successfully pressured isil along the turkish border. over a year ago the president outlined a whole of government strategy to degrade into the isil and he emphasized it would be a multiyear campaign. but secretary carter was here in july he outlined the nine alliance efforts the compressor strategy so i won't go over them again in detail but i would emphasize it will take more than the military campaign to be successful. we also need to dry up isil's finances. and to stop the flow of foreign fighters into iraq and syria in particular and protect the united states from potential attacks from isil provide humanitarian assistance in areas
that we are taking back from isil and find a way to more effectively counter isil's very successful messaging campaign. as secretary carter said to the committee in july of the administration believes we have the right strategy in place. we are now focused on implementing the strategy as effectively as possible or this is very much an interagency effort with increasingly better synchronization against -- across all departments and agencies involved and the tax secretary carter and secretary kerry have been meeting together with their senior staff to monitor and identify issues in the campaign and they are meeting tomorrow to focus in particular on foreign fighters. dod as you know is possible for two of the alliance of effort inside the strategy denying isil safe haven in building partner capacity so i would like to speak briefly in those those areas and general austin while celebrity. causing campaign is decorated isil's military capacity has
removed some of its key leaders enabled local forces in iraq interpreted as such has regained control of tikrit from isil earlier this year and syrian kurds and sunni are partners have taken the key border town in syria which severed one of isil's key lines of communication and put isil on the defensive and also put more pressure on a stronghold in syria. these examples demonstrate how when we have credible ground forces and we support them with our airpower isil can suffer. we are also working hard to build the capacity of partner forces on the ground prison to begin efforts with trina to put more than six brigades and provided training to more than 14,000 iraqi personnel army kurdish peshmerga and counterterrorism personnel and they have more in the pipeline. as secretary carter said in july training for the iraqi army has been slowed by lack of trainees
coming into the training sites. over the last several weeks we have had better participation from iraqi units of the training sites and iraq expanded the pool of units eligible for training. our forces on the ground at al-assad and their bases are involved in advising and training sunni tribal fighters and anbar province. both are providing direct training and also training the training assistant with the iraqi cignetti forces and in terms of equipping the sunni tribal fighters we have recently delivered a battalion's worth of equipment to iraqi officials working on the two airbases to distribute the equipment. we are also overseeing the distribution of the government of iraq equipment to the sunni tribal fighters from these
bases. through these efforts we now have more than 4000 sunni tribal fighters and anbar province. we are also still in the early stages of our train and equip program in syria. this effort it's important to highlight is one element of what we are trying to do in a larger campaign in syria which includes an increasing number of airstrikes as well a supporting partner forces on the ground like the syrian kurds are sunni arabs and other local forces such as turtlemound to put pressure on iso- in northeastern syria. these efforts have rolled isil back in the area and have had significant impact on isil's freedom of movement and supply lines. as of september 15 hour train and equip program the specific program we are currently training more than 100 fighters who may have additional recruits in the pipeline. this number is smaller than me help for in part because the chairman and others have noted
they put our trainees through a very rigorous screening process to meet standards that are appropriately laid out in u.s. law. we closely align their efforts in these areas with their 62 country coalition and is an example of how we are doing that turkey's recent decision to provide us access have enabled us to expand the fight and strengthening the collation of our efforts in syria. before turning to general austin i want to address russia's involvement in syria. we are closely tracking russia's recent efforts to deploy additional military equipment and personnel to syria and then close touch with allies and partners about these developments. both russia and iran have continued to support politically and militarily the assad regime which has systematically murdered its own people and created conditions of the current conflict in the rise of isil. what we need it in syria is a political solution to the complex through a transition away from assad and any actions
that empower the regime to ask away the complex are unwelcome and would be destabilizing and counterproductive. this is clearly a very difficult challenge that we face. we are not going to solve it quickly that we have the right components in place to advance our objectives and dynamically adjusting our campaign to radically -- battlefield. achieving continued commitment strong leadership from us and the global coalition as well as commitment and sacrifice from local forces in iraq and syria. thank you. >> good morning chairman mccain, senator reid distinguished members of the committee i want to thank you for the opportunity to appear here to provide a current update on the progress achieved over the past year in support of the ongoing campaign to counter i sold in iraq and syria. i'm pleased to appear here this morning alongside ms. christine wormuth.
miss warm-up is widely respected that the department of defense and we are grateful to her for her continued and strong support of our efforts at centcom. i will join christine and making a few brief comments and we are prepared to answer questions. before providing a brief update on the counter as the campaign i did want to quickly address an important issue. as the chairman mentioned there is an ongoing dod ig investigation looking into allegations concerning the processing of intelligence information by centcom's intelligence director. because the allegations are currently under investigation it would be premature and inappropriate for me to discuss this matter. what i will say is i welcome the dod ig oversight and once the investigation is complete based upon the findings you can be assured that i will take appropriate actions. again i cannot speak to the specifics of the allegations wever would like to take this
opportunity to provide clarity with respect to how we use intelligence products in the critical work that we do. because of the nature of our mission at centcom we do have and rely on a robust intelligence enterprise to support the plan. they're over 1200 seasoned intelligence professionals that make up that enterprise and they do exceptional work great as the commander i greatly value and seek their input and insight. i used the assessments they provide me together with the inputs that i have received from a variety of sources that include my commanders on the ground who i talk to almost every single day and i consider this broad range of inputs when making my decisions. there is then put a lot of speculation about the allegations made to the dod ig in one particular believe should be addressed and corrected for the record. some of express concern centcom intelligence reports were sent direct to the president. this is not accurate. as the office of the director of national intelligence put out to
the media last week in that quote none of the combatant commands are permitted to engage directly in it to president's daily briefing process. rather reports were produced by the combatant commands funneled through the dia to can -- and should also send collaborations and conjugations are properly coordinated end of quote. again i cannot comment on a specific allegation. we will need to wait for the dod ig to complete its investigation but i did want to provide this additional clarification. ladies and gentlemen with perspective the ongoing operations in iraq and syria today despite some slow movement at the tactical level we continue to make progress across the battle space in support of a government strategy to degrade and defeat isil. key to the enduring success of the military campaign to sustain pressure on isil from the air and on the ground and the
approach that we adopted relies on the indigenous forces to create and sustain this pressure while curbing the flow of foreign fighters and cutting off the enemy's ability to resource itself. in recent months iraq's security forces have experienced some setbacks. this is to be expected in early stages of the fight as complex as this one. overall coalition airstrikes in art by us and assist in building partner capacity at first the iraqis continue to make progress. in northern iraq the peshmerga have performed exceptionally well and the kurdish arab coalition in northeast area is achieving substantial effects. in fact over the past several months they retaken more than 17,000 square kilometers of terrain from the enemy and the effects that they have achieved create significant opportunities that his pursuit could prove devastating for the enemy. the intent of the military campaign is to degrade and ultimately defeat the enemy
there on actions and by enabling and supporting the efforts of our coalition forces and again progress is being made in this is evidenced by what we see happening in the air and on the ground in both countries. i would also point out that the progress reflects in large part the many contributions made by our coalition partners. 60-plus nation coalition represents the strength of this campaign and we remain grateful for their strong support for its success in this campaign will require the continued support of our coalition partners along with the support of other elements of the u.s. government and the international community. more importantly it will require the iraqis do what is necessary to address their political challenges. the national reconciliation is absolutely essential to the success in the counter iso- campaign. we said at the outset the military campaign to counter iso- will take time and it will take time and we should expect
testimony like this ever. on september 91 week ago the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said the fight against isil was tactically stalemated with no gains on either side. obviously you and the outgoing chairman of the joint chiefs of staff have a very different view of what the situation is. and so the progress you are citing, how long do you think it will take for us to defeat isil and restore stability in iraq and syria? >> years. if i may comment on the chairman's comments, as i spoke to the chairman yesterday, i went back and
looked at what he said. the future of isil is increasingly dim. tactically stalemated isil will move at the speed of its governance, not its military capability. there have not been any dramatic gains on either side. >> dramatic, that's different from tactically stalemated, please general? the exact same thing was said, so they're is clearly a disconnect between your view and that of our outgoing and incoming chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. in your view everything should remain as it is. do you think that we should have a no-fly zone and syria?
>> that is a policy decision. i would not recommend it. >> would you recommend setting up a buffer zone in syria where the refugees might be able to come and be protected from the attacks and slaughter? >> it would take a ground force. >> would you support a buffer zone? >> i don't see the force available. >> we would not be able to shoot down his aircraft as they bomb and slaughter innocent men and women, is that correct? >> we clearly have the capability, yes. >> but you would not recommend such action? >> i would not.
>> basically what you are telling us is everything is fine, as we see hundreds of thousands of refugees, now 250,000 syrians slaughtered, as you see more and more iranian control of the shia militia, the only ones that are really doing the fighting besides the pitch murder. as i say, i have never seen a hearing that is as divorced from the reality of every outside expert than what you are saying. does it have an effect on what you think we should be doing? >> i want to be clear that i think this is a horrible tragedy and it is something the entire and a national community will have to
continue to work together on. we hope that these refugees continue to be disadvantaged that we see more countries joining in to assist. >> so you would not support a policy that would help protect these refugees from being slaughtered with barrel bombs? >> it is always in our best interest to help protect civilians. again, i would not recommend a buffer zone at this point in time. >> so everything is really going well. >> no, sir. that's not -- >> if things are not going well and we have had setbacks and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said the tactics have stalemated and pursuing the strategy and tactics on the ground i respectfully and
fundamentally disagree. the refugees are results of it. you were there at the meeting. he would agree to keep a residual force. we never gave him the forces to leave behind, the departure of us completely from iniraq and set the table for the catastrophe that we are seeing. as i say, i have not attended a hearing that is so grossly distorted, terrible and tragic situation as i have seen from the witnesses. by the way, senator graham and i predicted everything that was happening now. i predict unless we do something different it will remain stalemated, which
means tragedy. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. secretary and general, about a year or more there was real concern that isil was virtually unstoppable. has that been approved? >> greatly one of the fundamental issues related to the comment un general dempsey have made is, who will have the advantage going forward, isil or iraqi forces supported by the united states? >> clearly it is the iraqi forces supported by not only
the united states that the 60 plus nation coalition. >> one of the things that has been suggested and recommended strongly to the iraqi government, the national guard units, sunni as well as others that formally allied with the government, and that legislation is bogged down. we could do more if the iraqis were willing to make changes in terms of their policy. they could contemplate the use of advises with the national guard, iraqi national guard units to distribute equipment as well as tactical advice. >> is it something you would consider?
>> yes, sir. it is. >> a scathing report about the leadership or lack thereof suggesting that not every state could be trusted. leading up to this crisis over many years. >> sir, what we saw from the former prime minister was increasingly sectarian behavior and a number of bad decisions that led to the atrophy of the security forces. >> according to this report they attribute most of the blame of the disintegration at malik's doorstep. >> it is primarily his
responsibility. those who he appointed in key leadership positions as well. >> in terms of your campaign plan, you have tried to exploit the area where we have the most centrist against isil while maintaining as much pressure as possible. i don't think anyone has seen the progress they've would like to see. is that accurate? >> it is, sir. government, of course we had access to things that could
enable us to get the work, shaping operations in syria as we get increasing resources we are able to increase the tempo and syria , and so i think we will have greater affect going forward. >> finally, general comments because one of the recent developments is they seem to be much more cooperative in an operational cents. what do you expect in the next six months that will translate to on the ground? >> it will translate to more pressure on key areas in syria like the city of rocker which has long been a isil stronghold. because of that we will have
the ability to increase and focus on key places in syria. that will certainly shape things in iraq. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. when senator carter was here before this committee he testified that there were only about 60 syrian fighters that had been trained in our train and equip program. we have heard reports about the attacks on those individuals when they were reinserted back into syria. can you tell us what the total number of trained fighters remains? >> it is a small number. the ones that are in the fight, we are talking four or five.
>> a new york times report on september 6 indicated that among the lessons learned from that experience was that these fighters should be returned to syria in larger numbers, obviously larger than the 45 that are there. do you agree? >> i agree. whenever that is possible it is in our best interest to make sure that we have an element that can protect itself and also go in and combine efforts with other elements on the ground. >> how do you plan to achieve that? increase the number of fighters on we are looking at the really tough security screening processes that are in place now. how will be achieved that? how long will that take? you mentioned earlier about increasing resources. i took that to mean
increasing the number of fighters that you would place in syria and the effect that they would have. what is the time period we are looking at, and how will you do it? >> and i certainly agree that the knew syrian force program has gotten off to a slow start, but it is important to remember that this element is designed to be a complement to all of the other things that we are doing. we are going to use and are using every tool we have available in our inventory. our approach is to utilize indigenous forces to complement our work from the air on the ground. >> if i could interrupt you on that point, and i would like to get back to your answer. when you said complementing the work on the ground with airstrikes, did i just to you say that?
>> they have to work in tandem. >> there is a new article out today. are we going to change strategy? i think it is in foreign policy today that it says the united states is drawing up a new plan that is going to send trained fighters into syria that will help direct airstrikes. is that report correct? >> i would just say that we will continue to look at the best ways -- the best means to employ these forces going forward, and capitalize on lessons learned. again, it is really about the full complement of indigenous forces that we have available to work with. as we mentioned earlier, the why pg, syrian kurds, and some have done tremendous work in northern syria pushing isil back the
border, currently somewhere around 40 kilometers or so north of the capitol city of isil and will continue to pressure isil. the knew syrian force is additive to that effort. >> is it still the goal to have about 12,000 they're? what is the expectation? >> at the pace we are going will not reach the goal we had initially established for ourselves. the overall goal is to make sure we have enough to get worked on the ground, whether it is why pg elements or other elements, we can and are achieving the same effect. it is not aspirational. we are doing this today.
>> and is the strategy changing for the work on the ground? >> we continue to look at the best means to employ them, and we will do what you would expect us to do and make adjustments as opportunities present themselves. >> thank you. >> just to follow-up, there is a foreign policy, anxious to avoid another damaging setback. looking at attaching small numbers of fighters to larger, established forces. can you confirm or deny that that option is being looked at? >> center, we are reviewing the way forward. >> i am asking if the option is being considered. >> we are looking at a range
of options. >> i ami'm not asking you to come before this committee and obfuscate. i am asking you a direct question. yes or no? >> we are looking at that option as well as others. >> thank you very much. >> general, it is my understanding that general dempsey recently said if the us seized control of the campaign against isil we could speed up the defeat but that it would come at a great cost to our service members and that another group with another name would just be back in a couple of years. isn't that what you understand general dempsey to have said and reaffirmed here today? >> yes, ityes, it is. it is important that the people in the country in the region take ownership and
work to put in place lasting solutions. if we do not do that back in another two to three years. >> and because of that campaign, it must be one by our coalition partners and the iraqis, not just us. >> that is correct, sir. >> would you care to read that statement again for clarity in your response to the chairman's question that general dempsey had said in its full context? >> yes, sir. what the chairman said was, the future of isil is increasingly dim is more
nations join the anti- isil effort. further stated that although the fight right now is tactically stalemated the node dramatic gains on either side, they will move at the speed of governance and not the speed of its military capability. i would like to reassert this for general dempsey with your permission. they will include the assessments. >> of course. >> general, give us your assessment