The notion is that all municipalities knew the deadline was March 31, 2011. In most cases they selected their shovel-ready projects for completion by March 31, 2011, in early winter of 2009, so it was a year and a half ago.
In fact it was even before the budget announced the stimulus funds because they knew they would have to move as quickly as possible to get their projects into the application process. They knew there would be some time for the provincial and federal governments to review those applications and make their decisions.
So people started planning these projects...actually December 2008 is when we first made a call to our members to identify shovel-ready projects. When the budget was announced, they knew roughly how much money was available. The province, working with the federal government, started to work on programs they could apply for, so people began to adjust their lists.
I think your point is that in some cases municipalities that had identified these projects as early as January or February of last year may have had to wait six or eight months before they heard whether their projects had been approved.
So the projects were originally identified. They anticipated having one and a half or two full construction seasons. They may have only had one construction season. But in all cases, those projects were identified. They had planned to be able to get them done by March 31, assuming they had two years.
The idea of a global extension would be challenging. If the municipality had known they'd have more time, they probably would have taken more time or chosen a different project. The challenge is that they had, as you said, different starting points.
I think that's what we're trying to get at here. Some municipalities in some provinces had starting points as late as eight months later than others. It's difficult to meet the same deadline when you're starting eight months later. In those cases we're suggesting there should be some flexibility required. It may not actually require more time. There are other administrative solutions that could allow a municipality to finish part of the project but still ensure that the federal share is contributed.