Can I address the list in terms of scheduling?
I think we need to give priority to the estimates, given the time schedule we have and the week we're going to be off. I think this is the first item we should schedule. It may not be the first item we do, but we should schedule it and give ourselves at least a couple of sessions to address them and to bring forth witnesses.
In that regard, as I'm sure is close to your heart, Mr. Chair, I was concerned about the budget cuts that occurred—of $6 million—in the gun registry. I would want a witness—from the RCMP now—as well as the minister, to explain what those are. That's one witness I would like to have. I assume we're going to have the minister in any event, but I would like specifically somebody from the RCMP who can explain in detail where that $6 million saving is coming from.
I can jump. want to draw the committee's attention to a newspaper article. This is on the O'Connor report and the testimony we had from Commissioner Zaccardelli on Thursday. The former minister of public safety, Wayne Easter, is quoted extensively in the Toronto Star on the weekend, refuting some of the testimony we had from Commissioner Zaccardelli with respect to what information was given to the minister and the cabinet in that period of time, in fact saying that what Commissioner Zaccardelli said with regard to that is not true, that “we were not informed”.
As I think the committee already knows, I am strongly in favour of this committee taking on some additional responsibilities with respect to reviewing the O'Connor report. As part of any hearings we have in that regard, I would want Mr. Easter brought forward as a witness and Commissioner Zaccardelli brought back to respond, both of them at the same session, so that we can get to the bottom of this.
Regarding the O'Connor report more generally, I think we're confronted, Mr. Chair, with the reality that most of what we need to do with respect to responding to it is really with what's coming in the second report, which is due somewhere around the end of November or the first week of December. I think in planning our scheduling we have to take that into account, and I would want to commence hearings on the recommendations that are coming out of the second report, as well as any we may need to address out of the first, some time in early December.
Those are the comments I would make on the schedule on those two points. Thank you.