I will now call this meeting to order.
Welcome, all, to meeting number nine 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 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 the following rules.
Interpretation in this video conference will work very much as it does in 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 ensure clear audio transmissions, we ask those who wish to speak during the meetings to set your interpretation language as follows. If speaking in English, please ensure that you are on the English channel. If speaking in French, please ensure that you are on the French channel. As you are speaking, if you plan to alternate from one language to the other, you will also need to 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.
I 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 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, they should use the “raise hand” function. This will signal to the chair their interest to speak. In order to do so, they should click on “participants” at the bottom of the screen. When the list pops up, they will see next to their name that they can click “raise hand”. I will try to be very attentive to that today.
When speaking, please speak slowly and clearly. When you are not speaking, your microphone 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 the issue. 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, can everyone click on their screen in the top right-hand corner and ensure that they are on gallery view? With this view you should be able to see all of the participants in a grid view. 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 the rounds of 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 by members.
Now it is time to welcome our witnesses. From the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People Manitoba Coalition, we have Hilda Anderson-Pyrz and Sandra DeLaronde. From the Native Women’s Association of Canada, we have Lorraine Whitman. Actually, we're still waiting for Ms. Whitman. From Women of the Métis Nation, we have Melanie Omeniho.
We'll begin with five minutes of witness testimony, starting with Hilda Anderson-Pyrz and Sandra DeLaronde.
Please go ahead with your opening statement.