No, it was over 1,500 in previous years, seven or eight years ago. It is a big concern and I'm glad you are conscious of that.
The final thing is that like all departments, your department is going to come under fiscal reduction, restraint. We notice some hundreds of millions of dollars in these estimates being reduced, and I think over 350 full-time equivalents in terms of personnel.
Our concern, Minister, is about the closure of embassies or consulates, reducing the footprint that your department has around the world. Have you any sense of whether embassies and consulates will close? You won't give us a list now, I'm sure, and you'll tell us that we should wait for the budget.
What criteria are you looking for if you have to make those difficult decisions? What will be the kinds of factors that you and your officials will look at?
Can you give us some assurance that for those consulates or embassies that remain open they will have enough program money to be able to get out and promote Canadian interests and Canadian values and the things that we all think our diplomats do very well across the country? We don't want a situation where they're effectively strangled so they're hiding in an office sending e-mails to people, as opposed to being able to get out and engage with the communities in which they are accredited representatives of Canada.