Good morning, everyone. Welcome to today's meeting on Bill C-81, an act to ensure a barrier-free Canada. The objective of today's meeting is to continue the committee's thorough review of the bill.
I have a fairly substantive preamble here, so please bear with me.
I would like to take a moment to remind both those participating in the proceedings, as well as those observing the proceedings of the committee in person and on video, that the committee adopted a motion on September 18 that included instructions for the clerk to explore options to allow for full participation of all witnesses and members of the public on this study. As a result, the committee has made arrangements to make all meetings in relation to the study of Bill C-81 as accessible as possible in a variety of ways. This includes providing sign language interpretation and near real-time closed captioning in the room.
Please note that both American sign language and Quebec sign language are being offered to those in our audience. Those who would like to watch the American sign language interpretation should please sit on the benches to my left. If you would like to watch the Quebec sign language interpretation, please sit on the benches to my right. In addition, please note that the first two rows of benches have been reserved for those who wish to avail themselves of these interpretation services.
Screens displaying the near real-time closed captioning have also been set up, with the English text again to my left and the French text to my right. The sign language interpreters in the room are also being video recorded for the eventual broadcast of the meeting on ParlVu via the committee's website.
In light of these arrangements, the committee asks that if you need to leave the room during the meeting, please do not walk in front of the sign language interpreters. Instead, please use the extremities of the room. In addition, we ask that those in the room remain seated as much as possible during the meeting, so that everyone in the audience can clearly see the sign language interpretation.
Finally, if a member of the audience requires assistance at any time, please notify a member of staff or the committee clerk.
I want to just check with the interpreters if my speed and cadence are appropriate. If so, please could they give me a thumbs-up? Fantastic.
I ask that because in the previous meetings we have gone a little fast, whether it's with opening statements or with questions and answers. I'm going to apologize in advance. I will, if given an indication by the interpreters, slow you down. Don't worry about time. We're very conscious that everyone wants to get the message out and that we are limited in time, but I have been a little liberal—no pun intended—on the timing, and have given people a couple more moments to finish their statements and stay at a slower pace.
If I believe we need to slow down, I will indicate it this way.
I want to introduce those who are here with us today, both in person and via video conference.
Appearing as an individual, we have Jutta Treviranus, Professor and Director at the Inclusive Design Research Centre from OCAD University, by video conference, coming to us from France. Welcome.
Also joining us here by video conference, from Barrier-Free Canada, we have Donna Jodhan, Founder and Chair. Welcome.
Appearing here with us today, we have Michael Prince, Professor of Social Policy from the Faculty of Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria. Welcome.
From People First of Canada, we have Kory Earle, President, and Shelley Fletcher, Executive Director. Welcome.
From the Public Service Alliance of Canada, we have Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-president from the Prairies region, and Seema Lamba, Human Rights Program Officer from the Negotiations and Programs Branch. I thoroughly apologize if I butchered your names.
Each group will receive seven minutes for opening statements. We're going to start with Jutta Treviranus, coming to us from France.
The next seven minutes are all yours.