Thank you very much.
I would like to take the opportunity to go on the record and say that I certainly share some of the frustrations that have just been identified. I think, reflecting back on our opening statements, that the general intention of this committee was that it be a fact-finding committee, to be able to establish a certain set of facts so we could then provide recommendations back to the House of Commons and the Senate on what was, in my opinion, a fairly important, extreme and historic moment in Canadian history.
I think using this to provide what I read, in the spirit of the motion, as a bit of a deposition statement that goes beyond introductory remarks and that would allow these witnesses to establish the facts as they see them would give us a better ability, when in person, to question those facts rather than use the five minutes to establish facts that in many cases, quite frankly, they were just refusing to provide us. I want to put it back on the table that we had many witnesses come to this committee and just flat out refuse to co-operate. I think that's a problem.
I'm in favour of a written process that goes beyond introductory remarks, and particularly on some of the more sensitive issues, things that we might deem necessary to be read and kept in camera given the sensitivity of the security of the matter, I would like to see and have the ability to prepare for some of these witnesses in more meaningful ways.
I'll conclude with this: My frustration over the summer was that through the media and through FOI reports we were able to establish more facts over two months through the media doing their work than, in my opinion, we were from the witnesses who were present here. Oftentimes, I would find that witnesses were refusing to provide answers that they knew would eventually become public just, in my opinion, in order to frustrate this committee.
I'd like to move beyond that and hopefully get a greater level of seriousness from witnesses so that when they come here they're going to come prepared to answer the questions we have at hand after establishing the facts that they're going to be presenting to this committee through this motion.