Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Clement and Mr. Baird, I'd like to thank you for being here.
I would like to summarize the current situation. The 32 projects have been mentioned a lot. The Auditor General had the opportunity to review the 32 projects.
One thing concerns us: $50 million, which was approved by Parliament for a Border Infrastructure Fund, was transferred for the G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund without Parliament's approval or even it's knowledge. At the end of the day, a group called the Local Area Leadership Group was created and was consisted of Mr. Clement, the mayor of Huntsville and the general manager of the hotel. This group in question decided, alone, how to allocate this $50 million. That's the root of the problem. We're talking about 242 projects. That's what I'm concerned about now.
I'd like to talk to you about a conclusion the Auditor General made that I'm particularly concerned about. She said that she had asked the Summit Management Office to provide all documentation indicating how the office had been involved in the review or selection of the projects. The Auditor General told us that the office had not been involved in the review or selection of the 242 projects, but that it had held information sessions for the local communities on the G8 summit.
When we look at the minutes we obtained, we can see, among other things, that Mr. Gérald Cossette was present. He was the head of the Summit Management Office. He was also assistant deputy minister for Foreign Affairs. I assume the Auditor General spoke to him. I assume that she also spoke to other officials. But there was no response from these people who were involved in the process. I say this because our emails indicate that he was involved.
Did the Department of Foreign Affairs or the Summit Management Office mislead the Auditor General?