I call the meeting to order.
I want to welcome to the committee Mr. René Arseneault from the government side, as well as Madam Laila Goodridge. They are joining the committee today.
Welcome to meeting to number eight of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. Today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format, pursuant to the House order of November 25, 2021.
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 asked to maintain two-metre physical distancing. They must wear a non-medical mask when circulating in the room, and it's highly recommended that the mask be worn at all times, including when seated. They must maintain proper hand hygiene by using the provided hand sanitizer. As the chair, I will enforce these measures for the duration of the meeting. I thank you for your co-operation.
To ensure an orderly meeting, I would like to outline a few rules to follow. 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 that proper interpretation is 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 to alert the chair.
For members participating in person, proceed as you usually would when the whole committee is meeting in person in a committee room. Keep in mind the Board of Internal Economy's 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 are not speaking, your mike should be on mute. I will remind you 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 we can to keep the consolidated order, which I have been provided with.
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the committee on Monday, January 31, 2022, the committee will commence a briefing on the ministerial mandate letters. Our witnesses will begin the discussion with five-minute opening remarks, followed by members' questions.
Welcome to Minister Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and departmental officials, including Cliff Groen, senior assistant deputy minister; Catherine Adam, senior assistant deputy minister; Janet Goulding, associate assistant deputy minister; Lori MacDonald, senior associate deputy minister; and Annette Gibbons, associate deputy minister.
We will start with Minister Gould for five minutes, please.
Minister Gould, you have the floor.