Mr. Speaker, the role of the facilitator in establishing the agenda of any committee or group is pivotal. The setting of the agenda determines the type of conclusions that a committee or any decision making body will make.
With respect to the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, a huge amount of expertise is brought to bear on any given issue. This is at a great cost to the taxpayers of $6 million or so a year in order to provide sound information to the Prime Minister in making decisions regarding the environment.
In the past when recommendations have been made by the national round table they have not been forceful enough to change the course of the government. Do I have any hope that this committee under the leadership of Mr. Murray will be presenting the tough decisions and tough advice on the environment to which the government needs to pay attention? Absolutely not.
The inability and the dismissal of the importance of the chair give me great cause for concern about how seriously he will take the setting of the agenda and the way in which certain items will be looked at.
It has been said that the quality of one's life is determined by the quality of the questions one asks oneself. Nothing truer could be said of this committee. The round table must be given a sound agenda and good questions to look at in order to arrive at conclusions that benefit the country.
Mr. Murray obviously dismissed the importance of the role of the chair, as did the parliamentary secretary. That lack of ability and lack of concern cause me and many other members of the House great concern about the efficacy and intelligence of the work that will be done over the next number of years.