Pursuant to the House of Commons order of reference adopted on December 2, 2021, the committee is meeting on Bill C-2, an act to provide further support in response to COVID-19.
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, and the webcast will always show the person speaking rather than the entirety of the committee.
Today's meeting is also taking place in the 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 of this meeting that taking screenshots or 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 on October 19, 2021, to remain healthy and safe, all those attending the meeting in person are to maintain two-metre physical distancing. Everyone must wear a non-medical mask when circulating in the room, and it is highly recommended that the mask be worn at all times, including when you are seated. You must maintain proper hand hygiene by using the provided hand sanitizer at the room entrance. As the chair, I will be enforcing these measures for the duration of the meeting, and I thank members in advance for their co-operation.
To ensure an orderly meeting, I'd like to outline a few rules to follow. I know this is our second meeting. I'll go over these rules. I think at subsequent meetings we won't have to do this because everybody will know what the rules are.
First, 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.
Members participating in person should proceed as they usually would when the whole committee is meeting in person in the committee room. Keep 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, and this will also help the interpreters a great deal.
I remind everyone 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 the best that we can to maintain a consolidated order of speaking for all members whether they are participating virtually or in person.
I would now like to welcome our witnesses.
From the Department of Finance, we have with us Trevor McGowan, director general, tax legislation division; Lindsay Gwyer, director general, legislation, tax legislation division; Maximilian Baylor, senior director, saving and investment section, business income tax division; and Yves Poirier, director, economic development, business income tax division.
From ESDC we have Elisha Ram, associate assistant deputy minister, skills and employment branch, Employment and Social Development Canada; Catherine Demers, director general, employment insurance policy, skills and employment branch, Employment and Social Development Canada; Benoit Cadieux, director, special benefits, employment insurance policy, skills and employment branch, Employment and Social Development Canada; and George Rae, director, policy analysis and initiative, employment insurance policy, skills and employment branch, Employment and Social Development Canada.
Doug Wolfe is in, but his sound is bad, so we may have some challenges there.
Also with us is Sebastien St‑Arnaud, manager, labour program - policy dispute resolution and international affairs directorate.
For opening statements from the Department of Finance and ESDC, we will hear from Maximilian Baylor and Catherine Demers for five minutes each.
The floor is yours, Mr. Baylor.