I call this meeting to order.
Welcome to meeting number 12 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. Pursuant to a motion adopted in committee on January 12, 2022, this committee meeting is on inflation in the current Canadian economy.
Today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format, pursuant to the House order of November 25, 2021. Members are attending in person in the room and remotely using the Zoom application. The proceedings will be made available via the House of Commons website. So you are aware, the webcast will always show the person speaking, rather than the entirety of the committee.
Today's meeting is also taking place in a webinar format. Webinars are for public committee meetings and are available only to members, their staff and witnesses. Members enter immediately as active participants. All functionalities for active participants remain the same. Staff will be non-active participants and can therefore only view the meeting in gallery view.
I'd like to take this opportunity to remind all participants to this meeting that screenshots or taking photos of your screen is not permitted.
Given the ongoing pandemic situation and in light of the recommendations from health authorities, as well as the directive of the Board of Internal Economy of October 19, 2021, to remain healthy and safe, all those attending the meeting in person are to maintain a two-metre physical distancing and must wear a non-medical mask when circulating in the room. It is highly recommended that the mask be worn at all times, including when seated. Participants must maintain proper hand hygiene by using the provided hand sanitizer at the room entrance. As the chair, I'll be enforcing these measures—through the clerk, as he is in the room—for the duration of the meeting. I thank members in advance for their co-operation.
To ensure an orderly meeting, I'd like to outline a few rules to follow.
Members and witnesses may speak in the official language of their choice. Interpretation services are available for this meeting. You have the choice at the bottom of your screen of floor, English or French. If interpretation is lost, please inform me immediately, and we will ensure interpretation is properly restored before resuming the proceedings. The “raise hand” feature at the bottom of the screen can be used at any time if you wish to speak or alert the chair.
For members participating in person, proceed as you usually would when the whole committee is meeting in person in the committee room, keeping in mind the Board of Internal Economy's guidelines for mask use and health protocols.
Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. If you are on the video conference, please click on the microphone icon to unmute yourself. For those in the room, your microphone will be controlled as normal by the proceedings and verification officer. When speaking, please speak slowly and clearly. When you're not speaking, your mike should be on mute. I remind you that all comments by members and witnesses should be addressed through the chair.
With regard to a speaking list, the committee clerk and I will do our best to maintain a consolidated order of speaking for all members, whether they are participating virtually or in person.
The committee agreed that, during these hearings, the chair will enforce the rule that the witness's response to a question take no longer than the time taken to ask the question. That being said, I request that members and witnesses treat each other with mutual respect and decorum. If you think the witness has gone beyond the time, it is the member's prerogative to interrupt or ask the next question. To be mindful of other members' time allocation during the meeting, I also request that members stay within a half a minute or so for the duration of their allotted question time. Though we will not interrupt anyone during a member's allotted time, I'd like to keep you informed that our clerk has two clocks to time members and witnesses.
I'd now like to welcome the witnesses from Statistics Canada.
We have Mr. Anil Arora, the chief statistician of Canada. We have Mr. Greg Peterson, the assistant chief statistician from economic statistics. We have Ms. Heidi Ertl, director of the consumer prices division. Welcome.
You will have five minutes for your opening statement or remarks before we get into questions from members.
The floor is yours.