Thank you, Chair, and welcome to all of our guests here today.
I can recall sitting in the House, and the government certainly made a decision, and I might add that it was generally supported in Parliament as well. The bottom line was there was a designated need for speed, probably an unprecedented ask to the infrastructure, industry, and finance departments, certainly since the time I've been here.
At this point, I think a phenomenal number of kudos have to go out to everybody involved who made this such a tremendous success over a short period of time. The challenges were daunting, the scale and scope was absolutely aggressive. For all the departments to come through in such a manner, let me just say, on behalf of the Canadian people—I know I can speak on behalf of my riding—thank you very much for a job very well done.
My concern, of course, is are you now going to be a victim of your own success? Because you did such a great job on this, some people are saying why don't they do that all the time; why can't we just move at that speed and that rate of success when the normal sort of process of government sometimes appears to be a snail's pace?
There are lessons to be learned from this, hopefully, for all of us—parliamentarians, certainly. But I would also hope that departmental influences can take the positives from this and perhaps put that into some measure of definable policy going forward.
I want to speak briefly on the knowledge infrastructure program. I know my colleague Mr. Dreeshen, who has a strong background in that, will focus more clearly on that, because that's his field of expertise.
We've all had successes. I have Loyalist College in my riding, where for the first time we took applied research out of the university domain and dropped it down to another level. We did some announcements at Kingston too, where I saw a process as a result of this kind of stimulus.... As a matter of fact, the professor was Dr. Philip Jessop at Queen's at the Green Centre. The organization committed funds from the program. Even now they're in a pilot process in which they can potentially eliminate tailing ponds.
So I can assure you the reach goes beyond simply a significant number of jobs now.
I'm really looking forward to the long-term examination of the results of this, and so are the Canadian people. I think they're going to be absolutely delighted.
My question would go to the Auditor General at this point. Sir, obviously I hold the departments in high regard for their delivery of this program. I would like your evaluation as to why they were able to deliver the success of this program in such a short period of time.