Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Minister Duncan, Minister Bains, Minister Chagger, deputy minister, and assistant deputy minister, thank you for making the time today. We are privileged to have you joining the committee and sharing your thoughts with us.
At the outset, I'd like to thank Minister Chagger for making a special visit to my riding, the riding of Richmond Hill. We had the opportunity to be able to showcase some of the capabilities we have in being able to help with the innovation and growth agenda. I would also like to invite the other two ministers to join us, because we would be able to showcase that we have the building blocks to be an active participant in the growth of research development and innovation, and the growth of the economy.
I would like to also thank the Prime Minister for sharing your mandate letters with us, which gave us the vision and the general direction that your ministries will be taking, along with the sense of collaboration among many different departments.
On that note, I would like to start with you, Minister Duncan, and ask two questions. One is on the sense of the priorities, which I'll touch on shortly. The other one is about one of the things I understand we share a passion for, stem cell research, as well as the collaboration between the ministries.
Let's start with the first question. You touched on the office of chief science officer. Can you give us an update, aside from your starting to recruit for this position, and perhaps give us the findings from all the consultations you did? I know you reached out to all the MPs' offices to ask for some feedback.
The second question is specifically around stem cells. Can you expand on the scope of stem cells and how you are collaborating with other ministries, specifically the Minister of Health, to be able to promote that across Canada?