Before I go to Mr. Byrne, because I'm assuming he'll want his second crack, and then I'll push again to try to get a vote, just to keep us clear, because this is all very technical and easily confusing, Mr. Saxton, your motion, if passed, would have us meet on Tuesday to do the planning. That would definitely not be enough time to hold a hearing on the 26th. It's only two days.
The other way to go is to do the witness list today. Now, I realize that normally that's a lot of work, but I'm hearing a fair bit of agreement. I really am. We've got an hour and 15 minutes on the schedule. If we agree that we're going to attempt to hold at least the first hearings on the chapter next Thursday--and there may be more--it behoves us not to pass the motion exactly the way it's written, because I just don't think we can get all the players there within 48 hours. I think the Auditor General would move mountains, of course—this is his committee—but there are other players, deputy ministers, who have serious commitments, and they can't move them that quickly. All it takes is one of the main principals, and we don't have the kind of meeting we want.
So it seems to me that we've got two choices to make. We can agree today, at the very least, on a preliminary list of who would come next Thursday. That would suggest that there would probably be a second meeting. That would be the easiest thing to do today, to use Mr. Byrne's motion as the base of what the witness list would look like and begin talking about it and come to agreement, at least in terms of initial witnesses, even the most obvious: the Auditor General, the Deputy Minister of Defence, the Deputy Minister of Public Works. There are two or three that are obvious. If we could come to that much agreement, then we can thrash out the balance of Mr. Byrne's list, those that the NDP may want to consider, and the government may have members that are not in Mr. Byrne's list, or they may ask that some people come off that list. But that discussion we could have on Tuesday to further plan for hearings, while still putting in motion an initial hearing on Thursday.
Just keep in mind that passing Mr. Saxton's motion for a planning meeting on the 24th would all but end our discussion today, because it puts off the discussion of the witness list until next Tuesday, which means we likely could not hold a hearing on Thursday. Whereas if we could agree on two or three principals today, we could have a public hearing on Thursday and still have a meeting on Tuesday to determine the balance of the witness list.
I leave that with members. I'm just trying to help keep things clear, because this does get kind of technical.
Mr. Byrne, you have the floor, sir.