We will call this meeting to order.
Welcome, everyone, to meeting number 15 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. Pursuant to the order of reference of Tuesday, March 24, the committee is meeting to discuss the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before we start, I should inform members that pursuant to this order of reference, the committee is meeting for two reasons: one, for the purpose of receiving evidence concerning matters related to the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and two, to consider a bi-weekly report to be provided by the Minister of Finance or his delegate on all actions undertaken pursuant to parts 3, 8, and 18 of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, which was distributed to members earlier. During the study, as I understand it, on interpretation of the motion, no motion can be moved, no vote can be held, and no committee business can take place. The only exception is that if the committee is not satisfied with how the government is exercising its powers under the act, it may adopt a motion to report that finding to the House.
Today's meeting is taking place exclusively by teleconference, and the audio feed of our proceedings is made available by the House of Commons website. Just with regard to some technical issues, before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. When I recognize somebody by name, the operator will turn the audio on for that person, which may take a few seconds, so pause a minute before you start. During the questions and answers, I would ask that members please identify the witness to whom they're addressing their question and state their own name as well. As always, all comments by members and witnesses should go through the chair.
That basically covers the preliminaries.
We just had a bit of a steering committee meeting where we worked out an agreement for the week coming. Beyond that, the clerk will be sending that information out as well, but to give you a heads-up, we will now be meeting next Wednesday for four hours and Thursday for four hours and then go back to the format of Thursday and Friday for four hours following that.
At today's meeting we are fortunate to have the Minister of Finance here, who will take a few moments to give us an overview of where things are at. I believe he can be here for only 40 minutes. With him are representatives of the Canada Revenue Agency, the Department of Employment and Social Development, and the Department of Finance, who can answer detailed questions if members have them following the presentation by the Minister of Finance. With that, thank you all.
Minister of Finance, the honourable Bill Morneau, I know they've been strenuous days. Thank you for coming. The floor is yours.