Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you both for joining us today.
I have some experience in economics, and I was also involved in municipal affairs because I was a town mayor.
When the government signs contracts and launches calls for tenders, it has to ensure to get the best value for money. In the discussions we have had so far, on several levels and for all kinds of good reasons, what we are saying to the federal government is that the process seems difficult and cumbersome for SMEs, among others. We are asking the government, the creator of jobs, to simplify this process, to be more available and to ensure that SMEs can help grow the economy.
I think there is a way to strike a balance when it comes to free markets, free enterprise and free competition. Of course, some governments can be more interventionist than others, but, if a government wants to intervene, is it not simpler to give targeted subsidies to business groups, be they made up of women, aboriginals or people with specific regional considerations? Canada is a very large country.
I feel that we are splitting hairs. It is becoming increasingly complex and, at the same time, we are asking that the process be simplified. There is no figuring it out.
I don't know what you think about simplifying the process—and this may be very naive—by being a bit more hands off with the market and providing targeted subsidies to specific groups.
Awareness also needs to be raised. Companies often don't even know that they could have access to grants. Businesses don't have the information they need, and when they don't have information, they don't have the necessary knowledge.
Can you tell us what you think about that?