We'll call this meeting to order.
Welcome to the fifth meeting of the House of Commons Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Pursuant to the order passed on Monday, April 20, the committee is meeting today to consider ministerial announcements, to allow members of the committee to present petitions, and to question ministers, including the Prime Minister, about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tomorrow, May 8, Dr. Andrea McCrady, Dominion Carillonneur, will give a special recital to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.
Victory in Europe Day, VE Day, commemorates the formal acceptance of Germany's surrender by allied forces at the end of the Second World War. While the pandemic prevents us from gathering to celebrate in person, tomorrow at noon the voice of our nation will ring out in remembrance of this milestone in our history.
Today's meeting is taking place by video conference. The proceedings will be made available via the House of Commons website. Just so you are aware, the webcast will always show the person speaking rather than the entire committee. I would like to remind members that, as in the House of Commons or committee, they should not take photos of their colleagues or film the proceedings.
In order to facilitate the work of the interpreters and to allow the meeting to proceed smoothly, I would ask you to follow some instructions. The video conference will be interpreted as in normal meetings of committees and in the House.
In the lower part of your screen, you can choose the language: floor, English or French. Please wait until I call on you by name before you begin to speak. When you are ready to speak, click on the microphone icon to activate your microphone, or hold the space bar down while you are speaking. If you release the bar, your microphone will revert to mute, just like a walkie-talkie.
Honourable members, I would like to remind you that if you want to speak English, you should be on the English channel. If you want to speak French, you should be on the French channel. Should you wish to alternate between the two languages, you should change the channel to the language that you are speaking each time you switch languages.
Please direct your remarks through the chair. Should you need to request the floor outside of your designated speaking time, you should activate your mike and state that you have a point of order.
If a member of the committee wishes to intervene on a point of order raised by another person, you should use the “raised hand” function to indicate to the chair that you wish to speak. To do this, click on the “participant” button at the bottom of your screen. When the list appears, you will see the raised hand option beside your name.
Speak slowly and clearly at all times. When you are not speaking, leave your microphone on mute. It is highly recommended that you use a headset with a microphone.
You have to remember to switch languages.
Should any technical challenges arise, for example, in relation to interpretation, please advise the chair immediately by raising a point of order, and the technical team will work on resolving them. Please note that we may need to suspend during these times in order to correct a problem.
I want to remind the honourable members to mute their microphones when they are not speaking.
If you get accidentally disconnected, please try to rejoin the meeting with the information you used to join initially. If you are unable to rejoin, please contact our technical support team.
Before we get started, please note that in the top right-hand corner of your screen is a button that you can use to change views. Speaker view allows you to focus on the person currently speaking; gallery view allows you to see a larger number of participants. You can click through the multiple pages in the gallery view to see who is on and how many more participants there are.
I understand there are no ministerial announcements today.
We will now proceed to presenting petitions for a period not exceeding 15 minutes.
I would like to remind members that any petition presented during the meeting of the special committee must have already been certified by the clerk of petitions. In addition, to ensure a petition is considered properly presented, the certificate of the petition and each page of the petition for a petition certified in a previous Parliament should be mailed to the committee no later than 6 p.m. the day before.
Now we'll go to presenting petitions.