Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Thank you Ms. Hassard and Ms. Meredith, for being with us today. As you know, it is important. We have many questions for you.
I'd like to start with a question of checks and balances. We had the announcement of the departmental budgetary freeze a few weeks ago. Immediately subsequent to that we had a very high-profile use of the Challenger jet, with the finance minister going down to Toronto. Then we had the Minister of National Defence, who wanted to use the Challenger to go from Ottawa to Vancouver at a time when there were ample flights available. That's at a cost of $100,000 for the Challenger as opposed to a few hundred dollars to go by regular airline.
I'm wondering, in that kind of situation, where it's kind of a flagrant contradiction to what has just been announced and certainly fuels a public perception that perhaps the government has two standards, how within the Treasury Board or the Privy Council Office the system kicks in to prevent that kind of thing from happening.