I call the meeting to order.
Welcome to meeting number 10 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.
Pursuant to the orders of reference of March 24, April 11, and April 20, 2020, the committee is meeting for the purpose of receiving evidence concerning matters related to the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today's meeting is taking place by video conference, and the proceedings will be made available via the House of Commons website. The webcast will always show the person speaking, rather than the entirety of the committee.
In order to facilitate the work of our interpreters and ensure an orderly meeting, I would like to outline a few rules to follow.
First, and this is especially important for the witnesses—I think most of the MPs have the hang of it now—interpretation in the video conference will work much like a regular committee meeting. You have the choice at the bottom of your screen of either floor, English or French. In order to resolve sound issues, please ensure that you are on the English channel when speaking English, and on the French channel when speaking French. If you plan to alternate from one language to the other, please also switch the interpretation channel so it aligns with the language that you're speaking.
Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. When you're ready to speak, please click on the microphone to activate it.
As a reminder, all comments by members and witnesses should be addressed through the chair.
This is for members, and by now you would all be aware of it. If you need to request the floor outside of your designated time, for example to raise a point of order, you should simply activate your mike and indicate that you have a point of order. If anyone wishes to speak to a point of order that's been raised by another member, they should use the “raise hand” function.
When speaking, please speak slowly and clearly. When not speaking, your mike should be on mute. The use of headsets is strongly encouraged, and our level of compliance is getting much better, which is also encouraging. If you have a microphone on your headset that hangs down, make sure it's not rubbing on your shirt during your questioning time.
Should any technical challenges arise, for example in relation to interpretation or if you're accidentally disconnected, please advise the chair or the clerk immediately, and the technical team will work to resolve them. Please note that we may need to suspend during these times as we need to ensure all members are able to participate fully.
Before we get started, please click on the top right-hand corner of the screen to make sure you're in gallery view. With that view, you'll be able to see all of the participants in the grid, and all video participants will be able to see one another.
With that, I would now like to thank the witnesses for joining us here today.
With us we have, from Durham College, Meri Kim Oliver, vice-president of student affairs. From Universities Canada, we have Paul Davidson, president and CEO; and Wendy Therrien, director, external relations and research. From the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, we have Megan Town, vice-president of education; and Matthew Gerrits, outgoing vice-president, education.
As a reminder for members, today's witnesses were asked to keep their opening remarks to a maximum of five minutes because I know that our members are a very curious lot and they have lots of questions.
Ms. Oliver, please proceed with your opening remarks. You have five minutes.