Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Congratulations on your elections to you and to all the vice-chairs. I'm really looking forward to this committee and to resuming our activity from the last session of this Parliament.
I have a series of routine motions that I'd like to present for us to adopt.
I'd like to start by saying that in the last session of this Parliament, we as a committee unanimously adopted a series of routine motions. I'd like us to readopt them with the exception of one motion, which deals with the questioning of witnesses.
For that, we did adopt a routine motion last time. In the interest of ensuring that we have adequate time given that we're currently on a new platform, which is Zoom, and we know from experience that there are sometimes some minor hiccups that do occur—sound checks, people logging in, bandwidth issues, etc.—we ask that we just slightly adjust that time in order to make things equitable so that everybody can ask a question in this committee and so we can all ask our questions. We also know that, with witnesses, the real meat of the testimony comes out in the questions and answers, and that's where we really get a very rich exchange, a very solid exchange, that helps inform us as a committee.
As for what I'm suggesting with respect to the questioning of witnesses, in the past we allowed for opening statements of 10 minutes. I'm proposing that instead of 10 minutes we have witnesses' opening statements of five minutes and then continue with the remainder of the routine motion as it was intact, as we voted upon it last time.
However, we recognize your discretion as chair and the discretion of vice-chairs when they are in your place to shepherd the conversation and, if you deem it appropriate, to allow for a longer time for the opening statements.
Just to sum up, I propose that we readopt the routine motions from the previous session, which we all agreed to last time, with one exception: that instead of having an opening statement of 10 minutes for witnesses, it would be reduced to five minutes, and that we allow for the discretion of the chair to determine if it should go on longer or not.