Maybe I'll start, if it's in the spirit of your question, by talking a little bit about the economic damage to Ottawa.
Let me start by pointing out that the City of Ottawa released a report last week detailing the cost of the illegal blockade to the City of Ottawa itself. They put the cost at $37 million. Larry Andrade, a Deloitte partner, calculated the damages suffered by businesses and employees in the Ottawa area during the occupation period to be between $150 million and $207 million. The Retail Council of Canada estimated that there were losses of $3 million per day in sales.
When it comes to the second part of your question, on the thought process, I do want to assure the members of this committee that I am very aware of the seriousness of invoking the Emergencies Act. I'm very aware that doing so was a big decision. What I as Minister of Finance would like to say to you and to Canadians is that the gravity of that decision was weighed, in my mind and in the discussions within our department, against the gravity of the economic damage that was being done. The economic damage that was being done truly was compounded. Every day that it went on, specific damage was being done, but every single day that it went on, that really was a blow to Canada's reputation. It was a blow to every single Canadian who goes out and tries to get someone to invest in the country. It was a blow to every single Canadian who tries to be a supplier to an American partner. I heard directly in conversations I had with Canadian business leaders who were getting in touch with me that they were gravely concerned. I actually heard it from some members of this committee who asked me questions in question period and who, at the time, were gravely concerned. Certainly, I, of course, was not the only person in the Department of Finance who was working on this. My officials and my political colleagues were all hearing exactly the same thing.