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View Dan Albas Profile
I would like to focus on two things.
First of all, our member from the Bloc Québécois asked specifically about the subcommittee and whether or not it should be deciding on our times. I do think that discussion needs to be at the subcommittee. If we decide to go with the 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. slot—I'm not on the subcommittee, but I want to give my opinion—I think that will work. Being from British Columbia, I travel a long distance to be here. I will be here for those. I think it's a good step for the committee.
Second, though, if there are exceptional requirements for further meetings at further times, just due to the nature of some of the people we will be working with, in order to make sure we can accommodate—again, it's written in the motion—many of the public figures who may need to have different time slots, I'm prepared to work. Parliament, I think, is prepared to work. I'd like to see that.
I did note today, Mr. Chair, that we were able to come up with unanimous support for my colleague's motion. I think that's a good first step, but I will say this. Again, the member from Quebec has mentioned that the ambassador will be in North America—as I mentioned earlier, he will be in Houston on January 28—and if the ambassador can be making public comments in Houston or talking and doing his job in North America on the 28th, to me there's no reason why the ambassador cannot be here for a period of time either before or after.
I don't think that we should, as Mr. Barrett said earlier, wait until the very last date. There are a number of issues that are very pertinent and are time sensitive. I have interviewed the ambassador at committee and have found that he's very capable of dealing with parliamentarians. I don't believe he'll require a lot of time to be briefed up. I think he'll be able to come here and give us answers. I do want to push the government to try to make that sooner rather than later, for the good of this committee and for this Parliament's work.
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