Mr. Chair , allow me to commend Mr. Oliphant for the excellent interpretation of my thoughts he offered a few moments ago.
Having said that, I find that this is indeed an extremely relevant resolution, but it may not be appropriate at this time.
I do not in any way dispute the appropriateness of calling Canada's ambassador to China before this committee to present his version, his analysis of the situation. However, the fact is that—and it must be acknowledged—regardless of the Canadian ambassador to China's intrinsic qualities, the post was vacant for eight months. For eight months, during this lengthy crisis, the ambassador's position was left vacant by the Liberal government. Before we summon the incumbent, perhaps we need to know why the position was left unfilled for eight months.
I agree with Mr. Oliphant's proposal that we hear from foreign affairs officials, that the Library of Parliament conduct an analysis and, above all, that we have the opportunity to meet in subcommittee. We have just set up the subcommittee to determine the agenda items.
This proposal, as relevant as it is, seems a little premature to me, in that we need to organize the work of this committee before embarking headlong into a poorly prepared meeting with the Canadian ambassador in Beijing. It is important to meet with the Canadian ambassador in Beijing, but it is especially important to be extremely well prepared for the meeting we will have with the ambassador. I don't think we are going to be able to do a constructive job with a week's notice for this meeting with the Canadian ambassador to China.