Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
As Minister Baird mentioned, in February 2009 new money came into the department and the administration of this fund came under Infrastructure Canada authorities.
At that time, some of these projects had to start within weeks, if not days, because most of them had to be completed for the time of the summit.
In February 2009, when this fund came in, it was at the same time that the infrastructure stimulus fund and the whole economic action plan programs came into the department. There were a lot of flexibilities that got instituted later on in terms of approvals processes in the federal cabinet decision-making, but in February it was not very clear that we could get, as a department, approvals for a brand new program in time.
Normally, any new program design takes anywhere between four to six months. If it took four to six months, the proponents could not have been able to start the projects.
So at the officials level, they had discussions and they looked at any mechanism that we could use to put the new money in, almost like a subsection of the border infrastructure fund. It had its own terms and conditions, and it had...so that was used as a vehicle. The presence of the legacy fund was made public around similar times by Minister Clement. So it was a delivery mechanism.
That being said, given that we were able to secure all of the approvals for all of our other programs, with 20/20 hindsight it would have been much wiser to have a separate fund instituted, put in place, and then we would not have recommended to our minister something that the Auditor General found to be not transparent.
On the estimates process, Madam d'Auray is going to take the answer.