I call this meeting to order.
Welcome to meeting number 11 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 28, 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 website will always show the person speaking, rather than the entirety of the committee.
In order to facilitate the work of our interpreters and to ensure an orderly meeting, I would like to outline a few rules to follow.
Interpretation in this video conference will work very much like in a regular committee meeting. You have the choice, at the bottom of your screen, of 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 you are speaking.
Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. When you are ready to speak, please click on the microphone icon to activate your mike.
I'll remind you that all comments by members and witnesses should be addressed through the chair. Should members need to request the floor outside of their designated time for questions, they should activate their mike and state that they have a point of order. If you wish to speak to a point of order raised by one of your colleagues, please use the “raise hand” function.
When speaking, please speak slowly and clearly. When you are not speaking, your mike should be on mute.
Thank you to everyone who is using headsets. For anyone who is using the earbuds with the integrated microphone, please ensure that the microphone isn't rubbing against your shirt when you're speaking.
Should any technical challenges arise, for example in relation to interpretation or if you are 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 that all members are able to fully participate. If you haven't already done so, click on gallery view, if you could, on the top right of your screen, so that you can see everyone.
I would now like to thank the witnesses for joining us today. With us today we have the Minister of Seniors, the Honourable Deb Schulte. Accompanying her from Employment and Social Development Canada are Benoît Robidoux, associate deputy minister; Kathryn McDade, senior assistant deputy minister, income security and social development branch; Janet Goulding, assistant deputy minister, income security and social development branch; Cliff Groen, assistant deputy minister, Service Canada; and finally, Stephanie Hébert, assistant deputy minister, program operations branch.
Minister Schulte, please make your opening remarks.