Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee.
I am here to testify today on the unfortunate and short-sighted decision to close down the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.
For those of you who don't know, I had the privilege of serving as president and chief executive officer of the round table for almost nine years. The purpose of the round table is to act as a catalyst throughout Canadian society. Prime Minister Mulroney legislated it into existence as the principal institutional response by Canada to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The notion was at the time that a super-departmental institution, something above all of the line departments, would be based in the Prime Minister's office, not necessarily to row, but to steer, to help change the course of our ship of state by providing objective, balanced—