We'll just be a couple of minutes. We're giving some attention to some technical details with the sound system. Do not adjust your screen.
The reason we're waiting a moment is that we want to make sure that all the comments are recorded so that we can create transcripts of the testimony and also so that we can record the comments of those in the audience who will be taking to the mike when we have our open mike segment of the meeting. It's important, but it should be just a matter of seconds, thanks to this very capable crew behind us here.
In the meantime, I'll just say what a pleasure it is to be back in your town of St-Pierre-Jolys. We had a very lovely bus ride from Winnipeg airport, and upon entering the town, we were very excited to be here. You have a lovely town. You can tell just riding through on a bus that it's a great place. Congratulations on the community you've built here.
I'd like to acknowledge, of course, Mayor Fallis, who is here today.
Thank you, Mayor Fallis, for giving us the use of your community centre and for arranging everything that needed to be done for us to hold this hearing today.
By way of introduction, we're on a cross-Canada tour for three weeks.
We started in Regina yesterday and we are in Manitoba today; we will be going to Winnipeg this evening for hearings. We will be going to the 10 provinces and the three territories in the next three weeks.
We'll be visiting every province and every territory over the course of about three weeks gathering citizen and stakeholder input that will be considered for the report that we'll be writing and publishing and tabling in the House of Commons on or before December 1. As you know, what brought us here is a campaign commitment, a platform commitment, of this government to move ahead on electoral reform before the next election.
The way that this is being done is the House of Commons, through a motion, established this 12-member committee on which all parties are represented.
It is also unusual for all parties in the House of Commons to have a place on this committee. Normally, committees are made up of members of parties that are officially recognized in the House. Places on committees are assigned according to the distribution in the House of Commons, so, with a government majority, members of the government party form the majority on each committee. However, for this committee, we have done things differently.
On this particular committee, even though we have a majority Liberal government in the House, there is no majority on this committee. There is no Liberal majority; there's not any other kind of majority. This is a different committee in that sense, and all parties are represented.
I would also mention that they have a lot of pressure. It's a high pressure job. I don't know if there's information available on paper that gives the committee's website address, but we can give that to you later. You can go to the website to obtain reference materials on electoral systems around the world. You can also access an online survey, a questionnaire that takes about 30 minutes to complete. I believe that so far, 4,000 Canadians have completed this questionnaire, or at least that was the figure that was given to me earlier today.
There's a part of the questionnaire that provides you with some basic information on electoral systems, and then once you've gone through that stage of the questionnaire, you go to the questions. It's a great way to learn a little about electoral reform. This brings me to another point, which is that the committee's role is like all parliamentary committees that travel, which is to gather citizen input on an issue, and in this case, it's electoral reform. Unlike other committees, we have a dual role, which is to reach out to Canadians to talk to them about electoral reform so we have, I guess, in a sense, a bit of a public education function. We have this dual role, in a way. We're here so that Canadians can be sensitized to the issue of electoral reform and be engaged with it.
Now, in addition to our work, in addition to the work we're doing, the Minister of Democratic Institutions is also consulting Canadians. Her consultation is separate from ours. It's being conducted in parallel.
In addition to those two tracks of consultation, the committee has asked all 338 members of Parliament to hold individual town halls. I had a town hall in my riding. My riding is in the western part of Montreal. It's called Lac-Saint-Louis. I did a town hall as a member of Parliament, not as a member of this committee, last Thursday. We're gathering input in many different ways in order to get a sense of where Canadians want us to go with this whole proposal of modifying the electoral system.
I think we'll get going. Even though at this point testimony will not be recorded verbatim, our analysts are taking copious notes. They have been sitting next to me for 26 meetings, and I can attest to the fact that it may not be through a recording device, but I think they're getting pretty much every word. So not to worry; your comments will be well recorded.
I also point out that our proceedings are in both official languages, of course. You have headsets so that you can hear the simultaneous interpretation.
The way we proceed is that each witness has five minutes to present their ideas and views on electoral reform. Then we have a round of questions where every member of the committee gets to engage with any of the witnesses they want to engage with for a total of five minutes. That includes questions and answers. It's not like the questions can be five minutes and then the answers come after. Both have to be within the five-minute slot.
We will start with Mr. Richard Kidd, who is here today testifying as an interested individual.
The floor is yours, Mr. Kidd, for five minutes, please.