Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to the Auditor General for being here today.
It's been said and needs to be said again that you have done exemplary work over the years. Congratulations on that.
There seem to be two fundamental criticisms or concerns that you raised on the notion of moving the Commissioner of the Environment out. One is around effectiveness—the ability to effect change within government policy and performance. The second is around straying into policy. You've talked about expectations that have been raised.
On the expectations question, I remain confused, because I don't know why that would matter, why you would care or why the Commissioner of the Environment would care that an NGO or a member of Parliament incorrectly interpreted the mandate of the Commissioner of the Environment.
I remember reading Mr. Rodriguez's bill, Bill C-288, the first time, and there was a note in it about who would assess the government's policies. My first thought was “We have to strike that out, because it doesn't work.”
So there will always be expectations. Some will be right and some will be wrong. But I will not use that as a motivation to direct my deliberations on this.
On policy, you said that auditors can't audit themselves. It's a very important principle. If the Government of Canada has a legally binding commitment to do a certain thing—let's take the Kyoto Protocol as an example--and the government then puts forward a plan that, by their own admission, will fall short of that commitment, is there any room for an auditor to comment on that?