Madam Speaker, I do not think there will be much disagreement with regard to the motion itself. As vice-chair of that committee, the prospect of calling a number of departmental representatives before the committee to do a review of the supplementary estimates and to report back within basically two days was somewhat unrealistic. We only have one meeting to do this.
Although we have a lot of different departments to deal with, we were not dealing with the main estimates. We were dealing with the supplementary estimates, which were the final adjustments for the last fiscal year. It was not a big deal in the sense that many of the adjustments in the supplementary estimates substantively put into place any labour agreements that may have been reached since the review of the estimates and the supplementary A estimates.
The committee was given the opportunity to look at the supplementary B estimates. The member will recall there was a fallback plan that in the event any members from any of the parties had any concerns or questions, those questions would be resolved fully to their satisfaction prior to reporting back to the House. There is no question that it was definitely inconvenient.
The member has now raised all kinds of other issues regarding how we do the estimates. It is important to discuss this area, but I am not sure if this is the time to discuss it.
My question to him relates to his allegation that the government is doing something that does not allow members of Parliament to do their job. I would question the member's allegation on that.
It is the responsibility of parliamentarians to do the work. Parliamentarians have the tools to not only look at the documents but to call as many witnesses as they want from departments. We have the tools to get internal reports and to have visitations to look at certain things. There are an enormous number of tools available to us. However, members of Parliament do not often do those things for one simple reason. It is primarily because there are not enough resources, research capabilities, assets or time in the committee's schedule to do that.
I would ask the member to reconsider whether the fault lies with the government or whether it lies in the way we are structured in that what we choose to do in committee does not go as far as it really could and should.