I now declare this 23rd meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in order.
Colleagues, as you can see, we have guests with us today to give testimony on the report we're reviewing. Beforehand, if I may, I will ask for the indulgence of our guests to give me a moment to do a little quick business. I think that would then negate any need for us to have a follow-up business meeting at the end.
Today, obviously, we're here doing chapter 7 of the fall 2013 Auditor General's report. There was another hearing scheduled for Monday, which we cancelled, and we are trying to reschedule that one for next Monday. We had an open date on the calendar and we're good from the AG side. We're still waiting for confirmation from the department involved.
Upon receiving confirmation that they can be here, we'll go ahead and schedule that meeting, as we had agreed to earlier. If we get a no-go answer, then I would suggest, colleagues, that we flip that meeting from a hearing meeting into report writing. We have a number of reports to go through, so we don't need to lose any time. If you're in agreement, that's what will happen going forward.
For next week, though, we do need to do some scheduling, because we don't have anything scheduled after next week. We have a lot of work. We just haven't sorted it out yet. We will need to do that.
Also, just as a reminder to everyone, next Tuesday, May 6, Mr. Ferguson will be releasing his spring 2014 report. You will recall that on the day it's released we will be meeting here at nine in the morning informally, in camera, to receive a briefing a couple of hours prior to the report being tabled in the House.
As you'll recall, that's an invitation to all members of Parliament, so it includes all members of the House as well as the Senate. I want members to remind themselves that it is actually the Auditor General's meeting, and the chair of our committee chairs it at the request of and as a matter of convenience on behalf of the Auditor General. At 10 a.m., when the report is tabled in the House, we will open the doors, and that ends that.
The next day, we'll receive the report publicly. At that time, all chapters are up for discussion and presentation by the Auditor General. Subsequent to that, our responsibilities as a committee will be to decide which chapters of that report we're going to have hearings on, and then, of course, to decide the process of scheduling those hearings and holding them.
If colleagues are good with the status of our work plan and our business—I see no interventions, so I'll assume everybody is good with that—then I will turn us to the matter at hand.
Today, on chapter 7 of the 2013 Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada, “Oversight of Rail Safety”, we have with us, of course, the Auditor General. We also have with us Madam Lévesque, the deputy minister from Transport.
I'll ask each of you to introduce your delegation when you take the floor.
Unless there are any last-minute interventions—and I see none—we will now begin the hearing.
Therefore, Mr. Ferguson, welcome. It's good to have you here, sir. Condolences on your recent loss.
You have the floor, sir.