Mr. Chair, I want to go back to comments that were just made by my Liberal colleague across the way and comments made by Mr. Garrison with regard to the number of witnesses per panel.
The standard practice in this committee is to have three witnesses per panel. It is misleading to say that those witnesses speak for up to 10 minutes, because the ability for witnesses or the Chair to reduce the number of minutes for opening remarks has always been there.
For example, when we have three witnesses, they may only speak for seven minutes, or five minutes. Certainly witnesses who may be coming from all sides, whether it be Conservative, NDP, or Liberal, could choose not to have any opening remarks. They could submit their remarks in both official languages for the committee members to review ahead of time or have with them, and just be present to answer questions. We've seen that happen in the past. That particular argument, that we will not have enough time to hear directly from the witnesses, is not valid. We will have plenty of time to hear from witnesses.
The subamendment that I put forward is increasing the number of witnesses to 48. That's in addition to the first meeting, which will have officials and the two ministers, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Justice. We are actually going to have well over 50 witnesses during the entire study. We have been very cooperative. We are trying to accommodate and negotiate with the opposition on this matter.
It is unreasonable, Mr. Chair, to hold 25 meetings, considering the fact that we have fewer than 25 meetings in the rest of the session. We are in fact extending regular committee hours with the subamendment I put forward. We are not just meeting at the regular times on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. We are actually going to schedule meetings in the evening. We are willing to schedule those meetings so they work with all timetables and all schedules from all members of the party.