We will get under way now as I call this meeting to order.
Welcome to meeting number 14 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
I'd like to start by acknowledging that I am joining you today from the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinabe and Chonnonton nations.
Pursuant to the order of reference of 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 epidemic.
Today's meeting is taking place by video conference, and the proceedings will be made available on the House of Commons website.
During this meeting, 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 to ensure an orderly meeting, I'd like to outline a few rules to follow. Interpretation in this video conference will work very much like a regular committee meeting.
You have the choice at the bottom of your screen of “Floor”, “English” or “French”. In order to resolve the sound issues raised in recent virtual committee meetings and ensure clear audio transmission, we ask those who wish to speak during the meetings to set their interpretation language as follows: If speaking in English, please ensure you are on the English channel. If speaking in French, please ensure you are on the French channel. As you are speaking, if you plan to alternate from one language to the other, you'll need to also switch the interpretation channel so that it aligns with the language you are speaking. You may want to allow for a short pause when switching languages.
Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. When you are ready to speak, you can either click on the microphone icon to activate your mike, or you can hold down the space bar while you are speaking. When you release the bar, your mike will mute itself, just like a walkie-talkie.
As a reminder, 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 microphone and state that they have a point of order.
If a member wishes to intervene on a point of order that has been raised by another member, the “Raise Hand” function should be used. This will signal to the chair your interest to speak. In order to do so, click on “Participants” at the bottom of the screen to the left of the language globe, and when the list pops up, you will see next to your name that you can click “Raise Hand”.
When speaking, please speak slowly and clearly. When you are not speaking, your mic should be on mute.
The use of headsets is strongly encouraged. If you have earbuds with a microphone, please hold the microphone near your mouth when you are speaking to boost the sound quality for our interpreters.
Should any technical challenges arise, for example in relation to interpretation, or if you're accidentally disconnected, please advise the chair or clerk immediately, and the technical team will work to resolve the issue. Please note that we may need to suspend during these times as we must ensure that all members are able to participate fully.
Before we get started, would everyone click on their screen in the top right-hand corner and ensure that you are on “Gallery View”. With this view, you should be able to see all the participants in a grid view. That will ensure all video participants can see one another.
During this meeting, we'll follow the same rules as usually apply to opening statements and the rounds for questioning of witnesses during our regular meetings. Each witness will have up to five minutes for an opening statement, followed by the usual round of questioning from our members.
With that, it is time to welcome the witnesses for our first panel.
As an independent witness, we have Jean Paul Gladu.
From the First Nations Financial Management Board, we have Harold Calla, executive chair.
From the First Nations Tax Commission, we have Manny Jules, chief commissioner.
From the Inuit Business Council, we have Kirt Ejesiak, representative.
Mr. Gladu, welcome. You have five minutes to begin your opening remarks. Please go ahead.