Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Baird and Mr. Clement, thank you for joining us today.
I must mention the fact that, since last June, we would have liked you to have risen from your seats in the House to answer our questions. There was some contempt or disdain toward Parliament and with respect to the right of the elected members to obtain answers from the government.
We have here what is probably the biggest scandal since the sponsorship scandal. All the elements of a shady process are here. The Auditor General told us that she had never seen anything like it and that all the rules had been broken. You managed to implement an opaque, parallel process to distribute $50 million in your constituency. The Auditor General first told us that there were no documents or minutes, that we didn't know what happened and that no senior public servants were present. Access to information requests made by the NDP showed us that the story was a little different, in the end: senior public servants were present, but they were subsequently concealed. Through these access to information requests, we also learned plenty of interesting things about certain emails. I'll come back to that.
Mr. Clement, your spokesperson in the House just stated that he was the only one responsible for approving projects. I have in my hands a document dated October 21, 2009 that bears Mr. Baird's signature.
It's an agreement for G-8 summit projects,
and bears the signature of the mayor of Huntsville, as well as yours. Does that not contradict the version of the facts presented by Mr. Baird? You also signed the document.