Evidence of meeting #50 for Finance in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was cabinet.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Mr. David Gagnon
Benoît Robidoux  Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Employment and Social Development
Marc Tassé  Senior Advisor, Canadian Centre of Excellence for Anti-Corruption, University of Ottawa, As an Individual

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

I will officially call the meeting to order.

Welcome to meeting number 50 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. This is panel number one of three today.

We are meeting on government spending, the WE Charity and the Canada student service grant.

Today's meeting, the main part, is taking place by video conference, and the proceedings will be made available via the House of Commons website.

I'd like to welcome our two witnesses for this panel. First, by teleconference, is the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. Welcome, Minister, all the way from Delta, B.C., I gather.

From the Department of Employment and Social Development, we have Benoît Robidoux, associate deputy minister.

Welcome to you both.

Minister, if you could keep your opening comments fairly tight, certainly no more than 10 minutes, that would be helpful. Then we'll go to questions. The question round will start with Mr. Poilievre, and then Ms. Dzerowicz, Mr. Fortin and Mr. Julian.

Minister, welcome, and thank you for being here.

3:05 p.m.

Delta B.C.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough LiberalMinister of Employment

Thank you very much, Chair.

Good afternoon, everyone.

I'd like to begin by thanking the committee for allowing me to participate by telephone. This allows me to use my accessibility software and participate in a more meaningful way while having the chance to refer to my speaking remarks.

I'm hopeful that my participation today will be helpful. It's my understanding that your committee—

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Minister, we just lost you. We can barely hear you.

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough Liberal Delta, BC

Oh, dear.

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

I don't know whether you moved away from the mike.

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough Liberal Delta, BC

I didn't mean to.

Is that better?

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

No.

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough Liberal Delta, BC

Oh, really? I don't have a—

3:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Chair, I have a point of order. I have no trouble hearing the minister at all.

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

I can't hear you, Elizabeth, either.

3:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

That's interesting.

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough Liberal Delta, BC

I can hear her.

3:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

And I hear her.

August 12th, 2020 / 3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Wayne, I think you might be the problem.

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

What am I?

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

You might be the problem.

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

How am I the problem?

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Everyone else hears just fine.

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

I can't hear. Wayne is not the only one. I can't hear her, and I couldn't hear Elizabeth May, but I can hear Wayne very well, and I can hear you, Pierre.

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

There's something funny about the system. When people talk, I see two pictures of Peter Julian. One of him is enough—thank you, Peter—and I see two pictures of me. One of those is enough, too.

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

I think Pierre just wants a chance to get in the chair again.

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Try again, Minister, and we'll see where we are.

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Carla Qualtrough Liberal Delta, BC

Thank you.

I'm hopeful that my participation can be helpful. It's my understanding that your committee is reviewing the Canada student service grant—

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Wayne Easter

Can any of you hear her? Peter Julian can't. I know I can't.

3:10 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

I can hear her when I take my interpretation to background and take it off a language channel. I think the problem is that when you go on English or French, you can't hear her. If you go to pure background, you can. I've heard everyone so far, and I'm sure you've heard enough from me.