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Public Accounts committee  Again, as outlined for the committee, our evaluations look at the project's impacts on the environment, such as how it will improve climate change resiliency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is a criterion that currently exists. It is also an indicator that we use. It's part of our contribution agreements.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  I will start, and then I will turn to my colleague to maybe speak to some specific examples of projects that we have under way in collaboration with the Northwest Territories. First and foremost, what I would say is that we try to move as quickly as project proponents, and that includes in terms of the agreement set-up and the agreement negotiation.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  Mr. Chair, I don't have an exact percentage, but I am proud to say that we have 40 projects in Quebec valued at $848 million. The Government of Quebec is an active participant in this program. We're happy to work with it on the infrastructure needs of Quebeckers. As well, while a lot of these projects are within Quebec, we look at them from a network point of view and the connections beyond Quebec to other parts of the network.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  To address this question, what I'd like to do is offer four points, but I think first and foremost it's really important for us that we facilitate indigenous interests and participation both in the economy and in the supply chain. We've looked at how that can help us and how that can inform project selection but also project implementation.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  LNG could be part of the proposals. In terms of an eighth call, I don't have a line of sight at this moment of when we would be doing another call. What I can tell you is that, in the interim, to inform our thinking for that call there are two things that we are currently doing as a department.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  In terms of my involvement, it would be that, if there were a specific LNG project and if the proponent had submitted a national trade corridor fund application, we would be looking at it based on the merits of the call. LNG is something that would be eligible if it were able to demonstrate that it met the merits of the call, so it's not something that we are prioritizing but it is not something that is ineligible.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  That's very kind, Mr. Chair, but I must confess that I have lost my train of thought, so I welcome the question.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  Yes. I'll start with the broad strokes in terms of what we wanted to achieve through the advancing of the supply chain digitization call, and then I'll turn to my colleague to provide some tangible, concrete examples. What we wanted to do was really look at how, through industry-led projects, we could improve asset and operation management.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  Mr. Chair, in answering the question, I'm going to touch on two things. First, I'll go back in terms of how we ensure that the environmental considerations inform our evaluations. Second, though—and, again, it's the responsibility of a colleague—Transport Canada is working on the high-frequency rail project.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  In terms of designing calls, as previously mentioned, we work really closely with our policy colleagues to look at where there are constraints and issues in the transportation system that need to be addressed, and where potential federal participation can assist that. You'll see in the different calls—and I think that's even reflected in the Auditor General's report—that one of the calls we did was about trade diversification.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  Absolutely not.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  How we deal with it is to undertake an analysis of what we feel is needed in this particular case in the transportation system and in the supply chain system. That's often informed by a lot of collaboration and consultation. Through the Council of Ministers, we work very closely with provinces and territories, and we've been seeking their input in terms of transportation priorities and infrastructure investment priorities.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  I will go back, Mr. Chair, to comments and observations offered by the Office of the Auditor General in the sense that the calls were designed using evidence. How we prioritized what we wanted to fund and what the particular focus of the call would be was guided by evidence and research.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  Economic analysis is done to—

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert

Public Accounts committee  That analysis has been done and it has guided us. It's where there might have been bottlenecks, supply chain constraints, so we could really look at how we target those specific areas so that we could really show where we were making recommendations to address the specific issues.

May 23rd, 2024Committee meeting

Stephanie Hébert