I call this meeting to order.
Welcome to meeting number 16 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. I would 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 pandemic. Today’s meeting is taking place by video conference, and the proceedings will be made available via the House of Commons website. During this meeting, the webcast will always show the person speaking rather than the entire 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.
Interpretation in this video conference will work very much like at a regular committee meeting. You have the choice, at the bottom of your screen, of either floor, English or French. In order to resolve the sound issues raised in recent virtual committee meetings and to ensure clear audio transmission, we ask those who wish to speak during the meeting to set your 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 will need to switch the interpretation channel so 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 mike 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, they should use the “Raise Hand” function. This will signal to the chair your interest to speak. In order to do so, you should click on “Participants” at the bottom of the screen. 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 mike 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 are accidentally disconnected, please advise the chair or 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 participate fully.
Before we get started, can everyone click on their screen in the top right-hand corner to ensure they are on “Gallery View”? With this view, you should be able to see all the participants in a grid. This will ensure that all video participants can see one another.
During this meeting, we will follow the same rules that usually apply to opening statements and 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 rounds of questions from members.
I will just advise everyone with regard to our opening statements by our witnesses and our rounds of questions that I'll be fairly tough on the timing. We really hate to interrupt thoughts as they come forward, but we also have to be aware of keeping the meeting orderly so that everyone gets an opportunity to ask their questions with the full amount of time. We hate to run out of time at the end of the meeting. That's why I may give you a one-minute warning or ask you to wrap up a point.
Welcome to our witnesses. From the Assembly of First Nations Alberta Association, we have Regional Chief Marlene Poitras. From the Creative Industries Coalition, we have performer Tom Jackson. From the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, we have Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, and from the Long Point First Nation we have Chief Steeve Mathias.
Regional Chief Poitras, you have five minutes for your opening remarks.