Congratulations, Mr. Poilievre, as first vice-chair of the committee.
Seeing as this is the first meeting on pre-budget consultations in advance of the 2018 budget, I would like to explain to all committee members what has been decided to date. I think everyone knows that the finance committee, by legislation, is to do pre-budget consultations prior to the budget in the next fiscal year. In this case, we put out a letter in June inviting submissions. Those submissions came in by early August. Then, in June as well, we agreed to an established set of hearings in Ottawa and at a number of locations in the west and in the east. From that, we will have to prepare a report that has to be tabled in the House sometime in December. That's basically the process, for those who are not aware.
The committee on these pre-budget consultations decided to invite departmental officials, which is a little different than last year, to give an outline of the situation in Canada to help members guide their questions for witnesses in future meetings. Finance officials will start with a brief opening statement to set the stage and explain Canada's current situation. Officials from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, or ISED—I still call it Industry Canada, but I'm old-fashioned—will then provide an overview of programs and initiatives currently available related to the first theme, which is productivity and competitiveness of Canadian businesses. Officials from ISED will then answer members' questions with the support of the finance officials who are here.
In the second panel, officials from Employment and Social Development Canada will provide an overview of the current initiatives and programming related to the second theme, Canada's productivity.
Our strategy was really to set the stage on the main themes we're looking at for the budget. One, what is the fiscal situation? Two, what is happening to make the country more productive and competitive in terms of programming from the departments involved?
It's important to note that if committee members ask questions that are not related to the main themes for this year's pre-budget consultations, the officials present might not be able to answer those questions. I know there are a number of other hot topics. That's why I am raising that point now. It think there will be other opportunities to raise those topics, but I would like us to start with a good foundation to establish the basis on which we hold pre-budget consultations.
Starting with the Department of Finance, we have Mr. Leswick, assistant deputy minister at the economic and fiscal policy branch; Mr. King, director of economic analysis and forecasting; and Mr. Lavoie, director of the economic studies and policy analysis division at the economic and fiscal policy branch.
From ISED, we have Ms. Setlakwe, assistant deputy minister in the strategy and innovation policy sector, and Ms. Campbell, director general of the digital transformation service sector.
Do you have a point you want to raise, Mr. Fergus?