The subamendment basically stated that the committee would have a further eight meetings on the bill, with witnesses, with up to two panels and three witnesses per panel. Considering that the original motion called for clause-by-clause consideration of the bill to start no later than March 31, 2015 at 8:45 a.m., it would conclude that we have to schedule additional meetings in order to meet that. In conversations, we have said we are willing to sit in the evenings. That's why we've allotted for an additional eight meetings of hearings outside that of the two ministers, the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Justice. This is completely reasonable. We have been more than cooperative. It is absolutely essential that we get this legislation to committee.
There have been a couple of comments. I'll just go back to one thing before I wrap up. The reality is that we need to get to see this legislation. It should not be about parliamentarians debating the legislation here in this committee, but that's what we're seeing today. We're actually debating the legislation when in fact we've all said that we want to hear from witnesses. We want to have witnesses come in so that we can ask them the questions and so we can hear their expert testimony. Sitting here debating whether you or I agree or disagree with the bill isn't doing justice to what's at hand and what's at stake with this legislation. The purpose of this committee is to set the timetable for C-51.
I just want to go back to something else that was said. It was with regard to warrants. I sat here and I listened to the opposition, to the critic across the way, talk about warrants and the fact that with warrants today, the requests have to be reasonable, proportional...and measures and so on. I just want to point out that clearly this bill on page 49 specifically states:
The measures shall be reasonable and proportional in the circumstances, having regard to the nature of the threat, the nature of the measures and the reasonable availability of other means to reduce the threat.
It's right there in the legislation. Again, I say it's there; I'm reading it. The opposition says that it's not clearly outlined. That's why we need to get on with this study. We need to bring in the witnesses, have them sit at the end of the table while we ask these questions. Is this in the bill? Are the warrants going to be authorized and is there going to be judicial oversight of this type of request? That's precisely what we should be debating right now. We should get back to the fact that we need to talk about the number of meetings.
Again, I've tried to negotiate on this. Twenty-five meetings are not going to happen. It's unrealistic. Eight meetings with 48 witnesses including the two ministers.... Officials will also be here. Again, it's way above 50 witness testimonies that we will hear from over the course of the next coming weeks. I think this is reasonable. I think that Canadians would expect us to move on with this legislation.
Mr. Chair, I would ask you to put this to a vote as soon as possible. It's very important that we get a decision made on this today. I just ask you to get back to the issue at hand, which is the particular subamendment, so we can bring the ministers in on the next available meeting and get on with this study.
I ask you to call this to a vote.