Okay, let me just go back to an earlier point that was made about referencing people in the gallery. We've done some checking here.
I appreciate the point made by Ms. Jordan about the fact that we are an extension of the House of Commons. However, according to the Standing Orders—and really it's O'Brien and Bosc that I'm referring to—it is the right of the Speaker to identify people in the gallery. It's more for decorum, for diplomatic reasons, and so on and so forth. When people from within debate in the House of Commons point out people in the gallery, they would be overruled.
However, there's no precedent or ruling per se—a hard ruling—about pointing out people in the gallery. I have done it in the past, but I suppose you could argue that I am an extension of the Speaker and able to do so. Some of us have also done it in the past with some contention. Therefore, we will refer to the clerk in the House to see what the rule has been, because we can't seem to find a precedent for it.
In the meantime, my personal opinion, as chair, is that I'll use my own discretion to do that. Colleagues, if you wish to point out somebody's presence in the audience, it's your seven minutes or five minutes, and you can do that if you wish, as long as it doesn't disrupt the debate. Okay?
In the meantime, we will refer to the Clerk of the House of Commons, and I'll come back with that.
Meanwhile, let us return to our regularly scheduled program.
Ms. Macdonald, nice to see you. Nikki Macdonald is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Victoria who wrote us directly, and with the permission of committee, we are glad you could make it here today.
We also have, joining us by video conference, Mr. Bill Wareham, who is a science projects manager for the western region of the David Suzuki Foundation.
That being said, Ms. Macdonald, we're going to go with you first. You have up to 10 minutes for your opening statement.