Mr. Speaker, as the official opposition, it behooves me to speak to this particular report and point out a couple of things that the Auditor General said about the G8 legacy fund, the border infrastructure fund. One is that the Auditor General said, “rules were broken” during his investigation of the G8 legacy fund, which was money that was pushed into the border infrastructure fund.
What we heard was Parliament saying one thing about where the money was but the reality of what happened to the money was altogether something else.
Even when some money was moved later on into the estimates, the Auditor General said, “...this is still not clear because it suggests that these projects were somehow related to border infrastructure, which was not the case”. So, even after he had moved it once, he actually moved it again and still could not get it clarified.
More important, perhaps I should quote what the Auditor General said about documentation. One of the things we heard from the minister was that there was no documentation. We found out later on that there was a trail at the municipal level. The Auditor General said, “We did approach the minister's office to request any documentation that was available in the minister's office or in the constituency office to explain how the projects were selected. We received a small amount of documentation which wasn't directly relevant to the question of the project selection and we therefore concluded, as we did in the audit, that it didn't exist”.
We then found out that was not true. There was some sort of trail of documentation and that ended up being what we found out through access to information at the municipal level.
I have been on the public accounts committee since the last Parliament and it is really disappointing that, in this particular case, we did not have the opportunity to interview the Auditor General personally on this particular chapter. Every other chapter we have ever done we have had that opportunity. That was denied the committee in this particular case, which is extremely unfortunate.
One of the recommendations we have, and we have a few, is to go back and revisit that chapter and have the Auditor General present so we can get a fulsome report and fulsome answers to all the questions we still have.