It's just gives us the time we need to finish the project so that the federal share of the total project cost can be reimbursed to the municipal government.
In some cases, construction costs might be decreased, because of course if you can spread the time to complete a project over a longer period, less overtime might be needed. In that specific case, municipalities have already budgeted those costs, so that really isn't going to be nearly as big a factor. It's simply the time to get things done.
I might add that some of the possible solutions might not actually require more time but might involve changing the parameters of the project or changing who is providing the funding and when. It's not necessarily simply a question of extending a particular project's deadline. It involves looking at other things.
As Mr. Carlton has mentioned, the government has already provided flexibility in removing the 100% clawback. Just two days ago, actually, the department confirmed that originally Treasury Board rules stipulated that the final expense claims, which included all invoices incurred up until March 31, 2011, had to be submitted by April 15, just two weeks after the deadline. Our members let us know that wasn't going to work. If you're renovating a home, you hold back the final 10% so that you make sure the project is done completely. Municipalities have holdbacks that aren't going to be paid until, in some cases, up to three months after the project is completed, even though the work was completed before the deadline. They wanted to ensure that the holdback could be covered. Just last Friday, after a brief e-mail exchange with them, the department confirmed that they understood the issue, and they agreed to extend the deadline for receiving invoices to up to 90 days after the March 31 deadline.
That kind of flexibility has actually made a pretty big difference. I heard sighs of relief from all over the country. Even though, again, it's not specifically changing the deadline for when work needs to be completed, it's making a difference for how municipalities are able to complete the project.
We're asking for those types of administrative changes, again, recognizing that this program was developed to create jobs, which is a national objective within the responsibility of federal and provincial governments. Municipalities are there to offer projects that could help federal and provincial governments create those jobs. In return, we are asking for some recognition of our partnership in other governments' primary objectives.