I now call the meeting to order.
Welcome to the 68th meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages.
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3) and the motion adopted by the committee on April 21, 2023, the committee is meeting to continue its study on increased francophone immigration to Canada.
Today’s meeting is taking place in a hybrid format, pursuant to the House order of June 15, 2023. Members may attend in person or by using the Zoom app.
To ensure the meeting runs smoothly, I would like to pass on some instructions to the witnesses and members.
Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. If you are participating by video conference, please click on the microphone icon to unmute yourself. Please mute yourself when you are not speaking.
As far as interpretation is concerned, those participating via Zoom have the choice at the bottom of their screen of either the floor, English or French. For those in the room, you can use your earpiece and select the desired language channel.
Although this room is equipped with a good sound system, sound feedback may occur, which can be extremely harmful to interpreters and cause serious injury. The most common cause of audio feedback is an earpiece being placed too close to a microphone. So we ask all participants to exercise great caution when handling their earpiece, especially when their microphone or that of the person sitting next to them is on. In order to prevent incidents and to protect the hearing health of interpreters, I ask participants to make sure that they speak into the microphone assigned to them and that they avoid holding their earpiece in their hands when it is not in use. The earpiece should be placed on the table, away from the microphone.
I remind you that all comments from members and witnesses should be addressed through the chair.
For members in the room, if you wish to speak, please raise your hand. For members who are on Zoom, please use the “raise hand” function. The clerk of the committee and I will do our best to keep track of the speaking order, and we appreciate your patience and understanding in that regard.
In accordance with our routine motion regarding connection testing, I wish to inform the committee that all witnesses have completed the required connection testing prior to the meeting. Unfortunately, at this time, Mr. Paquet is experiencing technical difficulties, which we are trying to resolve as quickly as possible.
I would now like to welcome the witnesses: Mr. Pichette and Mr. Castonguay are in attendance, and Mr. Paquet is participating virtually.
I would also like to welcome the new members of the Standing Committee on Official Languages, the best committee in town: Mr. Lehoux, a regular, and Ms. Taylor Roy.
Each witness will have five minutes to present. Then there will be interactions with the members for a set period of time and I will later explain how it works. For now, we are going to listen to the witnesses.
Before I go to Mr. Castonguay and start the clock, I must tell you that I have the difficult task of managing speaking time, so I may have to cut you off. That also applies to members. The stricter we are on speaking time, the more likely it is that everyone can ask their questions.
Mr. Castonguay, you have the floor for five minutes.