Good afternoon, everyone. I'm going to call this meeting to order.
Ms. Fry is having what we're going to talk about: connectivity problems. We're having some issues on the west coast, which seems to be appropriate for our meeting here this afternoon.
Welcome to meeting number 82 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the committee on Monday, May 8, 2023, the committee is meeting to study report 2 of the Auditor General of Canada: “Connectivity in Rural and Remote Areas”.
We will now begin the opening remarks.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
The 's father recently passed. I think his desire was to come on May 29. There have been some discussions with the clerk on coming that day. That's the preference, but things are now up in the air with.... I think the honourable members would understand.
I know that the preference would be before the main estimates, but he's happy to appear just after. I know there's a deadline, but with the family emergency, I would think that everyone would have that understanding. His intention is to appear before this committee on the estimates, whether that be on the 29th, which is his hope, or shortly thereafter if that's forced upon him because of the funeral arrangements.
Mr. Chair, I have the floor.
The and his staff have been talking with the clerk. I know that the intention was to appear on the 29th.
was away. His father was in the hospital for an extended period of time in Mexico. That's where the minister was for an extended period of time—out of the country—which is why he wasn't in the House of Commons last week.
This is getting petty. He will be here. He will appear. He wants to appear.
He has appeared before, and I believe the honourable member who has expressed condolences filibustered the last time that he was here, so he sat in the back waiting to appear. There really wasn't a desire to get to him at that point or at other points as well. He has appeared two or three times since our election in 2021, and he stands ready to appear again.
It's a reasonable request by the committee to hear him on estimates. Again, if there weren't the family emergency he'd be here on the 29th. If he can't be here on the 29th, he'll be here shortly thereafter.
I just want to say this in a different way.
This committee has always been respectful of what has happened with people's families. We recently had a witness who didn't appear when he was summoned because of the death of somebody who had been threatening him.
We now have a whose father died yesterday morning. He died on Wednesday. I think we all want to extend our deepest condolences to the minister. I think, from everybody's perspective, that's a genuine feeling we would have for anybody—our friends or our colleagues.
Again, the has stated that he wants to come on the 29th. Hopefully he will be able to, but we all understand that his dad died in a foreign country. We don't know when the funeral arrangements will be made. I think this is a time, when somebody's father just died, to not start.... I don't think this conversation is appropriate at this time.
I would just respectfully ask, regardless of any past acrimony, that we all pay our condolences and that we move this discussion to a future date.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
We are all united in offering our most sincere condolences to after his father's passing. I just heard the news and I think it's extremely sad. I lost my father and my mother within 18 months of each other, and I know the grief runs deep. It takes weeks to come back from losing a loved one.
As far as I'm concerned, the minister can appear before the committee when he is able, and we can ask questions about a variety of subjects, including expenditures. I don't see a problem. The main message of today's meeting must be a message of profound sympathy. We offer our most sincere condolences to the and his family.
Kevin, thank you so much.
I am actually at this meeting through my phone because my Surface Pro has decided it doesn't like me and will not connect. I'm connected through my phone, which is very interesting.
Anyway, I think Chris is suggesting something doable. If the cannot come on the 29th, we can do what we were going to do on June 1, which is witnesses for the first hour and a committee meeting for the second hour, in camera. Then maybe on June 1 the minister can come.
I don't know what people think about that. It's just switching things, clearly without any big problems involved. Can I entertain discussion?
There's nobody with their hand up. No one wants to say anything.
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
I want to mention two things.
First, I don't think your connection is good enough. It is somewhat unstable. Since we really have to protect our interpreters, who do extremely important work, I think it's better to give the chair to Mr. Waugh today, who is in the room.
Second, I think with the witnesses we have, we should continue this discussion—
Are all agreed on this?
(Motion agreed to)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Kevin Waugh): Fine. Thank you.
Now we'll move on to our two guests here. We have report 2 of the Auditor General of Canada on connectivity in rural, remote and maybe even urban centres, as we found out here today.
Let's welcome the opening remarks.
Thank you, officials.
Karen Hogan, you will have the floor for five minutes. Sami Hannoush is with you here today at the Canadian heritage committee.
The floor is yours, Ms. Hogan.
Thank you for this opportunity to discuss our report on connectivity in rural and remote areas, which was tabled in the House of Commons on March 27.
I would like to acknowledge that this hearing is taking place on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people.
Joining me today is Sami Hannoush, the principal who was responsible for the audit.
In this audit we looked at whether Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission had improved the accessibility, affordability and quality of high-speed Internet and mobile cellular connectivity for Canadians in rural and remote areas.
At a time when so much takes place online, it is critical for all Canadians to have access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet and mobile cellular services. This is a matter of inclusion. When services are of poor quality or are unaffordable or unavailable, people are effectively excluded from participating fully and equally in many aspects of life today. This includes participating in the digital economy; accessing online education, banking, medical care and government services; and working remotely.
We found that overall, access to Internet and mobile cellular services has improved across the country since our last audit in 2018. However, the federal government's strategy has yet to deliver results for many rural and remote communities and first nations reserves. Internet connectivity in rural and remote areas remains below 60%, and below 43% on first nations reserves.
We also found delays in approving projects that were meant to bring services to rural and remote areas. For example, final approvals under the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Broadband Fund took an average of almost 2 years. Delays mean that 1.4 million households who are already underserved or not served at all are still waiting to be connected.
Access to services is not just about having the infrastructure in place to connect households, businesses, and institutions. It's also about the affordability and reliability of the services. We found, however, that the two organizations attract only some dimensions of the affordability and quality of services. For example, they considered pricing as part of affordability, but did not consider household income. If the price of service is beyond a household's means, then connectivity will not improve, and some people will remain excluded.
These findings emphasize the persistent digital divide between people living in urban areas and people living on First Nations reserves and in rural and remote communities. Being connected is no longer a luxury, but an essential service. The government needs to take action so that there is affordable, reliable, high-speed connectivity coverage for Canadians in all areas of the country.
This concludes my opening remarks. We would be pleased to answer any questions the committee may have.
Chair, before asking my questions, I just want to give notice that we are tabling a motion today with regard to a study on the changes made to the Canadian passport. This motion, of course, will be moved at a different time, but it reads:
That the committee immediately undertake a study regarding the recently announced changes to the Canadian passport; in particular the decision by the government to remove images that reflected Canadian culture and history; that the Minister of Heritage be invited to appear as part of this study; that this study consist of 3 meetings; that witness lists be due within 5 days of the adoption of this motion; and that the committee report its findings and recommendations to the House.
I acknowledge that it is not part of the business today, so I do not wish to move it, but I do wish to give notice.
I think it's important to note the period of time of our audit. Our audit started in July 2018 and covered all the way until January 2023.
Over that time, while there were a lot of funding commitments in many budgets towards rural connectivity, there was about $2.4 billion available for spending. As you pointed out, we noted that only 40% of that had been spent by January 2023.
The reason it was so slow to go out the door was the length of time it took for the CRTC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to approve proposals for programs. For example, the CRTC said it should take about 10 months to look at a project, approve it and award funding, and it took almost two years. It's that length of time that I believe caused delays in funding going out the door, and hence in projects advancing and Canadians having access to Internet.
It's interesting that you mention that.
In your report, you pointed out that fewer than 50% of those in remote areas, particularly indigenous communities, have access to minimum speed Internet. That's just minimum speed Internet.
You talked about the fact that it's impacting everything from education to access to telehealth to access to commerce and the new public square, which is engagement online. How can that be improved? At the end of the day, if we truly want to pursue reconciliation, which I believe as a country we do, there is no reconciliation without economic reconciliation. These folks need to be included in the opportunities that the Internet provides.
I couldn't agree with you more that we need to ensure as a country that indigenous communities are involved in matters that affect them.
What we did find here is that six out of 10 households, as you pointed out, do not have access to high-speed Internet, or what we define today as high-speed Internet. By 2030, we don't know if the current speed will be considered high-speed. Actually, one of the recommendations we gave to the government is that they need to look at that.
The main buckets of money around getting infrastructure to rural and remote communities or indigenous communities come from the main departments that are here. I think we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that it's not just about getting the equipment there. It's also about making sure that it's affordable. Affordability needs to look at the income of households. That's where I think the government is missing half the picture.
Ms. Hogan and Mr. Hannoush, thank you for being here with us today and offering to meet with us to discuss your report. We're grateful to you, since not every witness we invite accepts coming to see us so gracefully.
I find all of your recommendations extremely interesting, but some of them stand out a bit more, I think.
We all went through a pandemic that changed the way we see things. It also made us aware of the fact that some services are essential. We had an inkling, but it hit home especially hard during the pandemic.
Before the pandemic, the committee led studies on the subject of connectivity in Quebec and Canada. It sounded the alarm because there was almost no Internet connectivity or cell phone service offered in remote areas, which was escalating into a public safety issue, because people were cancelling their landlines and services were increasingly offered through cell phones or the Internet. We were already arguing that a high-speed Internet connection should be considered an essential service, which the government finally recognized.
I don't want to put words in your mouth, but I'm sure you'll agree with me that once it was recognized, the walk had to follow the talk. If we decide it's an essential service, we have to make sure it's offered to the entire population. I know that major challenges are involved with connecting people to a decent Internet service in very remote areas and parts of the country that are hard to access with technology. However, we know of existing technologies that could be used to connect people in those areas.
What I'm getting at are the government's phased goals to connect remote areas. The government set 2030 as the ultimate goal to connect 100% of Canadians. However, one point in your recommendations stood out to me and caught my interest, which was the need to assess whether the target speed of 50/10 Mbps still make sense. We are in 2023, and I'm not sure that a speed of 50/10 Mbps can currently be considered high-speed Internet, because needs are changing with lightning speed.
So, are the goals for 2026 and 2030 realistic? Why not immediately revise them, so that people who get connected with unsatisfactory or inadequate connection speeds don't have to wait another 5, 8 or 10 years to get updated technology and keep pace? Have you had an opportunity to think more deeply on the matter?
I don't have much time left, but earlier, you said something very interesting about the work, and Ottawa's collaboration with the provinces and with Quebec.
My colleague from , Mr. Lemire, sits on this committee sometimes, in addition to being a member of the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology. He and I pushed hard to get Ottawa to transfer its responsibilities to Quebec, which already had a clearer vision of the needs in Quebec. This was done. The funding and responsibility to ensure Internet connectivity across Quebec, including in remote regions, were transferred.
In your opinion, should the government develop that strategy further? Should it give the provinces the money and responsibility, since they know more about their jurisdiction and their real needs, and only provide oversight? Do you think that's the right approach?
Okay. That's obviously what I was hoping to hear, since I know that the provincial government in British Columbia has been working hard to improve connectivity. The types of programs put in place can have a big impact in the provinces, and as you so clearly indicated, British Columbia is among the provinces with the highest connectivity as a result of programs put in place. If I may make a partisan comment, I would point out that it was an NDP government that put those programs in place.
Now, I want to turn to the government's response and the statement from the after you issued your report. The Government of Canada—this is from Minister Hutchings—in a statement said the following, “The Government of Canada has made available over $7.6 billion to expand access to high-speed Internet in underserved areas”.
I'm looking at the figures from your report, and as you mentioned earlier, you've seen investments of $949 million in terms of what is actually spent. In your study of the money invested that has served to expand access to high-speed Internet, do you see $7.6 billion as a credible figure, or is it your experience that a little shy of $1 billion in actual investments has helped expand access to high-speed Internet?
I will see if Sami wants to add, but I will start.
There is a connectivity map on the Government of Canada website that any Canadian can access, and you can see what areas of the country have high-speed Internet and mobile services. The issue with it is that it comes from service providers. There's not a lot of vetting on the accuracy of it, and when the maps are updated, stakeholders are informing the department about inaccuracies.
We've made a few recommendations around ensuring that the information is up to date and accurate. It's old. We saw that it was out of date by almost 20 months or so. What that means is that, if you're going to submit a proposal to help increase accessibility in an area but it looks like on the map it already has connectivity, you might not bid in that area or put a project forward in that area. The reverse might be true too. It's important to have accurate information for proper decision-making.
Here's a challenge I see, and it's about economics. If we're talking about highly technical agri-industries, they're not located in communities.
When you're talking about connectivity and communities, we have a challenge here. For example, I have people in the agriculture industry running pivots—and when I say the word “pivots”, people sometimes know what I'm talking about—from farms that are high-tech. I met somebody today in a rural ag-producing industry, and they're very technical and very short of...but they're not in a community.
How do we address that issue? You say your definition is about communities, yet if we're talking about economics in our highly technological ag sector, they're not in communities.
Thank you to our guests, Auditor General Hogan and Mr. Hannoush.
I want to thank the Office of the Auditor General of Canada for their report on rural and remote connectivity. We appreciate the recommendations and really look forward to continuing the government's work on broadband. We're on our way, well on our way, to surpassing our goal of connecting 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and 100% of Canadians by 2030.
We heard some numbers earlier. In 2014, I believe it was, only 79% of households had access to high-speed Internet. In Kitchener—Conestoga today, 89.5% of homes have access. That includes a strong agriculture sector. It's something that I think Canadians should be proud of. I talk to people in small communities like Crosshill, Dorking, Hawkesville, Heidelberg, Linwood, Millbank, St. Clements, New Hamburg and Wellesley. These are small communities, and they've received funding to expand high-speed Internet coverage.
Most of these projects are scalable projects for future needs, which is closing the digital divide between urban and rural communities. Earlier we heard about the importance of scalability. Most of these new projects, 80%, are scalable. As I explain it to my constituents, if you're going to be building a road, you leave room for extra lanes. That's what about 80% of these projects are doing for future growth.
We know that there's more to do and we remain committed to doing that work. That's why I think it's important that you're here. Your report is so important. The governments of Canada and Ontario, not that long ago, announced funding of almost $12 million for broadband infrastructure in the Waterloo region, which connects thousands of homes and businesses, mostly in my riding of Kitchener—Conestoga.
The federal government signed partnerships with, I believe, six of the provincial governments, Ontario being one of them. Can you tell us what your assessment is of the effectiveness of these partnerships and how they're helping the government achieve its national connectivity goals? What lessons can your report share about the importance of putting partisanship aside and coordinating and working across party lines and across jurisdictional lines for the common goal of helping our rural communities?
You used the word “coordinating” a few times. I think that's important.
Recently I hosted a round table with the . We had rural mayors, businesses and other stakeholders discussing the issues that face our small communities, many of which we've heard today in committee. Broadband Internet was one of the major topics, and we said how the federal government needed to work together with the provinces, territories, municipalities, indigenous communities and Internet service providers.
Your report noted that the federal government is not solely responsible for improving connectivity. Do you think provincial and territorial governments and the private sector are doing their part with cost-sharing in working toward these goals? What ways can they further step up, and how can that be incentivized?
I found that part very interesting. Indeed, more and more fairly big companies that are expanding, particularly in the agri-food and agriculture sectors, are located in so-called remote regions. However, those companies have the same connectivity requirements as ones in urban centres. It seems to me, then, that by doing a study on those kinds of needs in a context where industrial parks are overcrowded and where companies need to move, that criterion becomes more important.
You're confirming, then, that you have the authority to make recommendations for reviewing the way some areas and some of those criteria are assessed.
Also, I found it interesting that, in your report, you make readers aware that Internet and mobile cellular services aren't the same everywhere and, consequently, affordability isn't the same everywhere. We know that, in remote regions, those services can cost a fortune. In fact, your report includes a recommendation on that.
In your opinion, is the response provided by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, ISED—that these services will be provided through the universal broadband fund—satisfactory? Do you believe that the fund will be enough to help sufficiently lower the price that consumers, particularly those living in remote regions, will have to pay for Internet?
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Nice try, Mr. Champoux.
I want to come back to the consequences of not having high-speed Internet in place. I want to speak about the consequences for rural communities and for indigenous communities, like consequences for distance education. It's the reality of not being able, in more isolated communities, to access distance education, which so many people rely on to enhance their skills and gain more abilities to contribute to their community.
There's distance health as well. I know the B.C. government has done a lot to expand access to the provision of distance health so that people in more remote rural communities and indigenous communities can actually get access to health care.
It's also an issue of fundamental economic development. Having access to high-speed Internet makes a big difference in a community's ability to actually develop and build on its economic foundations. These are all fundamental issues.
You talked, Ms. Hogan, about the government spending only $949 million while they like to advertise that they've made available over $7.6 billion. I see that as a fundamental failure by this government to walk the talk and provide supports. Can you speak to what you see and what your report indicates in terms of the consequences of not having access to high-speed Internet for education, health care, economic development, etc.?
Thanks so much, Mr. Chair.
Ms. Hogan, thanks so much for coming today.
I'm glad I have the chance to show up to committee today and partake, because this is such an important issue. I represent the riding of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, a very rural riding in Ontario and one that has the second-highest demographic of seniors, which presents another challenge. We'll get to that.
I want to commend you on the part of your report—I think it's paragraph 2.69—where you point out that “neither Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada nor the [CRTC] could tell Canadians whether the affordability of Internet and mobile cellular connectivity had improved.” It's a pretty damning statement.
I want to provide additional evidence, as somebody who personally can't get over five megabits per second as service. I don't even get that because, of course, the service providers don't deliver what they advertise. It's only three any time I've checked it. I am one of many residents in my riding who have no connectivity. This in particular becomes a huge issue as the federal government moves more and more services, as you identified, to the digital realm. Then you don't have it.
I have a couple of points I want to get to. In your paragraph talking about not only the Internet service availability map.... I appreciate the question Mr. Shields brought forward about how there's a misperception. I have local Internet service providers trying to provide that service, but when they apply to ISED to try to get the maps updated.... It's going on two-plus years for them to even get the service they are providing put on the map or recognized.
Is this common in more than just my riding? Is this a common problem throughout Canada? I think you hinted at that.
I have another thing on the funding side in particular. The universal broadband fund is one of the key elements the federal government is using to try to provide support for this. My push-back on the whole fund in the first place is that the money seems to be flowing to the wrong sectors or wrong providers. The vast majority of this money, in my observation, seems to be going to major Internet service providers—the big telecoms—and not so much to the smaller and especially rural-sized areas, because they can't compete for it.
I was shocked and disappointed when—I know Tim is in the same neck of the woods, in western Ontario—the SWIFT or Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology program, which was previously funded by the federal government.... Federal, provincial, municipal and private Internet service providers all had a fund. It worked well. The benefit of that program was that it concentrated more on the last five miles.
My biggest complaint about a lot of this funding is that it's going to service providers to put in Internet where they're going to go anyway—where the business model is. In the national strategy, the biggest shortfall is that it's not focused and that the money is not flowing to the most expensive spots in order to get to the last 5% or 10% of the Canadian population, in particular those in rural and remote areas.
Did you suss out any data that backs up my observation?
Chair, I recognize that I'm pretty much out of time. I'd just like a quick comment.
The national strategy is on the maintenance aspect too. We're getting lots of complaints that not only.... It's about the reliability side. It breaks down.
I had a local area in my riding where just this past weekend.... Again, the only thing seniors depend on is their phone and Internet, and the companies...that maintenance breaks down. That's unlike 30 years ago, when a lot more people were on land lines and everything like that. It was dependable. It got fixed quickly. Now it's taking 72 to 96 hours.
Anyway, I recognize that I'm out of time, Chair.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I believe that in my province of Ontario, probably the most important sector is the agriculture sector, and of course rural Ontario plays the largest role in making sure that sector stays healthy. I think it's a $50-billion sector in Ontario. I've gone out to farms. I'm not from a rural community, but obviously Don Valley East depends on our farmers, or else we wouldn't be able to survive.
I've seen some of the technology they use and the mesh networks they put on farms that connect to a farmer's smart phone. They're able to monitor crops and look at humidity and the yield rate, and they make improvements based on this data and technology. Without question, we need to invest in and to continue to support our rural communities in order to continue to grow that sector, which is, without question, among the most important sectors in Canada.
I noticed that in the report there was a lot of money left over in some funds. One of the recommendations was that we need to improve the process for applications and the approval process. What does improving the approval process mean, and what's the challenge there?
We've really focused on the CRTC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. We looked at the commitment they made as to how long it would take to review an application and provide notification of whether it had been approved for funding, and then at how long it actually took.
When it came to the CRTC, it took almost two years to go through that approval to assess the application versus the 10 months they had told applicants it would take. When it came to ISED, it was almost a year, yet they had communicated it would take a month. When we asked them why this happened, the main issue was that they received much more volume than they had expected. There's definitely a desire to help improve connectivity across the country, so now those two entities need to improve their administrative matters in order to get funding and approvals done better.
The last thing I would add there is that, when we talked with certain applicants, we learned that the CRTC sometimes took almost two years to communicate with someone. Just not knowing meant that some providers abandoned their project, so even though it might have been worthwhile, it was no longer going to happen.
Thanks, Mike, and thank you for your question on Starlink, because Starlink in rural Saskatchewan is exploding, if you don't mind my saying. It seems to be the most popular way to get connected these days.
We're on the third and final round, because we're coming close to 5:30. We'll give the Conservatives and the Liberals five minutes each. We'll go to the Bloc and the NDP for two and a half minutes, and then we'll wrap it up, as we have constituency week coming up.
We have the Conservatives for five minutes.
Mr. Shields, go ahead, please.
We haven't done committee business. We don't know where we're going. We have so few meetings left.
I have a concern about the language. We typically don't summon officials. I think the CRTC has appeared every time this committee has invited it. I don't know what the rationale is behind that.
I know there was some animosity the last couple of times the CRTC chair was here. There was, again, filibustering. We call them and do not want to hear from them, even though we summon them as a particular witness.
I don't know why we're doing this on the fly. We've heard some evidence. Perhaps it's useful to hear from the chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. I really don't think it's appropriate to summon that individual, and I think it's far more important for this committee to get on the path to figure out what we're going to do.
We have an important study on sport, which I think is every member's priority in terms of the protection of kids. This is very important. As the Auditor General mentioned in her report, it's very important, as it is fundamental for Canadians to have that access, but we're dealing with the safety of children. That was this committee's priority. We've taken a meeting to hear this, even though I believe this is the industry committee's jurisdiction.
We talk about the CRTC, but when everyone has talked about the Government of Canada, they have been referring to industry or ISED or whatever it's being called these days. This study is better left for them.
I want us to get to a point where we have a sense of where this committee is going, and then we want to hear from the minister. We've just passed a motion to hear from Gymnastics Canada. We want to hear from other sports organizations. We want to go through this whole list.
I think there are seven meetings left. There may be eight. In terms of what's left, are we putting this back in there? Is it something we want to see in the fall, which may be more important? Are we turning this into a study? Are we duplicating what's going on at industry?
Last time we had discussed.... There was a motion before industry, but it wasn't yet confirmed where that motion was going. Again, we don't want to be duplicating our efforts in what's going on there.
I don't know. What's the priority of the committee?
Mrs. Rachael Thomas: Keep talking.
Mr. Chris Bittle: We're going in and out.
I guess Mrs. Thomas is the one who gets concerned whenever I speak. She can heckle all she wants. That allows me to go off in that direction, if she wants.
I know we agreed to end at 5:30. I don't grant consent to go beyond that. I think that was something we had all agreed to.
Again, these are things that can be discussed in advance. I don't know the purpose of dropping this in at the last minute. This committee has worked very well through the sports study, but I don't know what the point of the surprise is. It doesn't make sense, especially when we have the absence of the rest of this committee's stated objectives to get to the bottom of what we want to look at.
I know sport is at the top of that. Perhaps it's wishful thinking, but I would love to be in the position—and I'm sorry to the analysts—to give the analysts homework for the summer and say this is what we want to do. I think this should be a priority so that we can come back in September and say, “Let's focus on this report. Let's have recommendations,” because the has already started announcing important initiatives to do things.
Let's just deal with this at a committee business meeting. We have to discuss that. We have to figure out the business of this committee. It doesn't make sense to start acting in this manner, dropping motions at the last minute without any consultation among the parties. I'm sure this is something we could have debated.
Mrs. Thomas made a very good point in terms of not hearing from on estimates. That was a very valid point to make back when she made it. I know there were some discussions of his intentions, but that was an earlier discussion. We agreed. We made provisions. We hoped that the minister would appear on that day.
Again, this may be a valid thing to hear about from the CRTC. However, my experience of calling a minister on estimates is that none of the questions are on estimates, and I expect that few of the questions asked of the CRTC will actually be on the Auditor General's report.
I would like to move this to a point where we can sit, discuss it, have a reasonable discussion about where we're going, set out our agenda—
Mrs. Thomas, I did consult with you. I consulted with the Bloc.
I'm sorry, Mr. Julian. You weren't in the room so I didn't consult with you, but it was agreed that we would in fact adjourn around 5:30.
It is past 5:30, so I will accept the motion to adjourn.
Before I do, I want to thank the Auditor General. Thank you for coming today, Ms. Hogan. Mr. Hannoush, I want to thank you too.
Having said that, enjoy constituency week. We have 10 days away, and we'll see you on Monday, May 29.