Order, please. I call meeting number 33 of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to order.
Under the orders of the day, we are continuing our study of Canadian science and technology.
We have with us here today five witnesses, representing four organizations. First of all, from the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, we have Mr. James Knight, president and CEO; secondly, from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, we have the acting president, Mr. Pierre Chartrand; from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, we have the executive vice-president, Mr. Nigel Lloyd; and from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, I understand we have two individuals, Mr. Chad Gaffield, the president, and Carmen Charette.
Welcome to all of you.
We would like opening statements of up to about five minutes. I can be a little lenient on time, but if you can try to keep it to five minutes from each organization, then we will go immediately to questions from members.
Mr. Knight, we'll start with you and work our way across the table.
Good morning, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, everyone. I am pleased to meet you this morning.
Canada's system of community colleges is an important part of our research and development capacity in Canada. I want to tell you a few things about it.
We represent 150 community colleges, CEGEPs, university colleges, and polytechnics from all parts of Canada. We have 1,000 campuses distributed from the far south to the far north, east and west. Most of these institutions were established in the 1960s. Importantly, with a very significant federal investment and with federal leadership, they were virtually all built in a four-year period. Of course we're very tightly linked to Canada's industrial and technical drivers and we're an important part of the innovation system.
The two things I want to focus on in my five minutes are Canada's skills crisis, which is present and critical, and enhancing our entrepreneurial advantage.
As I said, the skills crisis in many sectors is already critical. Most skills in high demand are the outputs of our institutions. I could name many sectors that are crying out for more graduates. So there is immense pressure on our institutions to meet the needs of employers, but unfortunately, literally thousands of qualified students are on long wait lists to get access, sometimes as long as three years, which is particularly unfortunate since we know these graduates will be employed immediately.
Most of our institutions have great success in getting employment for their graduates, and increasingly, university graduates are coming to community college to equip themselves to get jobs. So this is an important thing for you to keep in mind. With the background in federal participation in launching the system and given the skills crisis and its potential damage to the economy, we're going to have to initiate a conversation about recapitalizing these institutions, ensuring that they have the facilities they need, the equipment they need, and the faculty they need to continue to supply the skills that drive the economy.
I'll give you a quick statistic. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business recently reported that their members who need skilled workers have indicated that out of every seven they need, six will be graduates of community colleges.
So we have some very specific thoughts about recapitalizing our institutions, but I won't initiate a large discussion here. It's something we want to talk with you about in the coming months.
We do recommend specifically that you can contribute to our success by instituting a student internship program. We have traces of that, which would be similar to the NSERC university undergraduate industrial award program. Generally speaking, we think our institutions are competitive and should have equal access to a program of that nature. We would be arguing for a national college and institute scholarship program in science and technology, something we had historically. This would stimulate student interest in this area.
We would also suggest that we expand and renew the student connections program, which is a job placement program supported by the Government of Canada, to give students experience with small businesses, and also, importantly, we would argue for the reinvestment in international student mobility. We have to keep in touch with our competitors around the world.
Speaking briefly about enhancing the entrepreneurial advantage that Canada seeks to achieve, our institutions play a critical role in this activity. In response to market pull or the interests of local businesses, our institutions support and engage with small and medium businesses, in fact businesses of all sizes, to help them with their innovation needs, their technology needs, their process needs. We have now, for the first time, importantly, a very small federal program to support this activity. It's $48 million over five years. It will provide some support to about one-fifth of our institutions. This is something we could wrap up, particularly when we have some successes to demonstrate.
When talking about the research and development strengths of our institutions, I won't go into any examples, but in your brochure there's a really interesting report on the outcomes and outputs of our colleges. You would be amazed by what they do to support local businesses. I won't even cite one example; there are many there for you to look at.
It is time for Canada to look at its enormous investment in research and balance it more equitably between support for large-scale discovery research and support for college-institute-industry partnerships. That's basically our theme. NSERC invests more than $950 million every year on people, discovery, and innovations. Our institutions receive a very small fraction of that despite their capacities.
I could go on, but basically we're looking for some equity in the system, Mr. Chair. That's my five minutes. I look forward to answering your questions.
Composed of 13 virtual institutes headed by leading Canadian researchers in their respective disciplines, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 11,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
CIHR was designed to address research challenges across the spectrum of health research. In addition, our unique Institute model enables CIHR to be "nimble and quick" to respond to emerging health research priorities.
For example, when the SARS outbreak occurred five years ago, CIHR moved very quickly in mobilizing a team of Canada's top health researchers at the University Health Network in Toronto to develop a treatment for SARS patients.
The outcomes of the CIHR model have been first to develop and attract the best minds. CIHR understands that a highly skilled research community is essential to Canada's ability to become a world leader in science and technology. We support the best and brightest trainees to ensure Canada has the best-educated and most-skilled human health workforce.
With our academic and public and private sector partners, we currently support 92 large post-graduate training centres and have invested $98 million in these centres between 2000 and 2007. Over the same period, we also invested more than $292 million in training awards to individual students, supporting, just for 2006-07 alone, 2,000 students. It is a priority for CIHR to promote Canada as being at the forefront of health research and training and to make Canada a destination of choice for top international researchers and students.
Budget 2008 provided a $20 million endowment to the Gairdner Foundation. This foundation has an international award program for outstanding biomedical research by an individual. This award is recognized as one of the most prestigious in this field in the world, and 70 out of the 288 Gairdner recipients have gone on to win the Nobel Prize in either medicine or chemistry. Just this week, the Gairdner Foundation announced the recipients of the awards for 2008. Two of the awardees are CIHR funder-researchers: Dr. Samuel Weiss from the University of Calgary, and Dr. Nahum Sonenberg from McGill University.
In terms of research results, if there is one message I would leave with you today, it is that health research is certainly one of Canada's strengths, and we are also leading in this area internationally. We have built over the years a system of health research and institutional excellence in our country that we need to grow and protect.
Let me mention recent leading-edge outcomes from CIHR-funded research. An example of health research successfully translating into application is the work of Dr. Tim Bryant's research team at Queen's University, which was supported through CIHR's proof of principle program. They contributed to the design of a new affordable, high-energy, and durable artificial limb, which is currently manufactured in St. Catherines, Ontario. This product is now available in Canada as well as in several countries, including El Salvador and Thailand, for landmine victims.
CIHR is aligned with the Government of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy. The strategy sets very important directions for CIHR and for our health research partners. The strategy sets out four principles to guide science and technology investments: in short form, they are excellence, partnerships, priorities, and accountability.
Let me emphasize the principle of excellence in health research. CIHR only funds research proposals that meet the highest international standards of excellence. This is achieved through a very rigorous process of evaluation done by peers, who volunteer their time and expertise to ensure the quality of the research that is supported by CIHR. Unfortunately, we can only fund about a third of the proposals that pass this rigorous process of peer review.
I would also like to say a few words about partnerships and knowledge translation. These concepts have always been central to how CIHR does its business, and I have placed personal emphasis on these as acting president. Our partners--provincial and territorial governments, the not-for-profit sector, and the private sector--not only provide additional resources, but even more importantly, they ensure the translation of knowledge to real-world applications.
In 2007-08, CIHR secured approximately $105 million in additional resources through partnerships and has entered into agreements with partners to ensure that the research results are used to the benefit of Canadians. For example, recently CIHR, in partnership with AstraZeneca, provided $5 million in funding to Dr. Manon Choinière at the Montreal Heart Institute, and James Henry at McMaster University, through the community alliances for health research and knowledge exchange on pain initiative, to engage active partnerships between research teams, public and private sectors, and community organizations in excellence research on pain, with an emphasis on its translation in health benefits.
As part of the science technology strategy, the Government of Canada has entrusted CIHR, SSHRC, NSERC, and CFI to manage Canada's envelope of support for higher education R and D in a comprehensive way. With our colleagues from these agencies, we have vigorously set out to do just that by implementing an extensive action plan.
Thank you for the invitation to meet with you today.
I am honoured to have this opportunity to talk to you about the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and its role in the implementation of the Science and Technology Strategy.
I have submitted a prepared brief, but I would like to keep my remarks shorter than that to maximize the time for questions.
I have just three messages that I would like to give you. First, we are completely aligned with the government's S and T strategy. Second, we are delighted to be viewed as central to the government's role of solving Canada's economic and societal problems. And third, we're working very closely with our colleagues at CIHR, SSHRC and CFI, and indeed ACCC to optimize the government's investment in S and T.
Let me elaborate very briefly on each of these three messages.
NSERC's vision is to make Canada a nation of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. We do that by investing in people, discovery, and innovation, with the aim of advancing prosperity and quality of life in Canada. These three thrusts of people, discovery, and innovation align perfectly with the S and T strategy's three thrusts of people advantage, knowledge advantage, and entrepreneurial advantage. In addition, the strategic areas that we support align well with the strategy's priority areas of natural resources and energy, environmental science and technologies, information and communication technologies, and health and related sciences and technologies. We have adjusted our areas to be fully aligned with the strategy. The strategy talks about promoting world-class excellence, focusing on priorities, encouraging partnerships, and enhancing accountability. We are completely committed to these four principles. For example, we have just completed an international review of our largest program to ensure that it meets international standards of excellence, and we have changed our governance structure to enhance accountability.
Now for the second message. We are happy to help solve Canada's economic and societal problems. In the most recent budget, the government has asked us to help solve immediate problems in the automotive sector, manufacturing, forestry, and fisheries. We are busy designing initiatives to accomplish this goal. Another significant problem in Canada is the limited amount of R and D performed by Canadian industry. We are attacking this problem by increasing the number of partnerships between university researchers and industry and by doubling the number of young scientists and engineers that get trained in an industrial environment. Our approach to solving Canada's problems is to attract the best people, give them the resources and the tools to do their research, and encourage them to put their discoveries to good use for the benefit of Canada.
The third message. With respect to tri-council collaboration, this is happening at many levels. We are working to coordinate our programs, perhaps most importantly so that we can better encourage and respond to research proposals that cross council boundaries. We have a large number of working groups working on many different aspects of this. Indeed, we have already opened up our programs, as have our fellow councils, to applicants from outside our traditional mandates. We are also working to coordinate our processes, such as having a common CV for a community so researchers don't have to keep different versions of their CV for different agencies. We're also working towards a single point of contact for students applying for scholarships who may not be sure which council their area relates best to. We are also working collectively to improve our ability to measure and report on the impact of the investments we have made. All of this is being done with an enthusiastic spirit of cooperation from the presidents on down through the organization.
I think I'll stop there, Mr. Chairman. We are very pleased to be part of a very exciting time for S and T in Canada.
Good morning, Mr. Chair, and thank you very much for this opportunity to appear before your committee with my colleagues and the Council's Executive Vice-President, Ms. Carmen Charette.
Your study on science and technology is very important and I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute. I would like to highlight two topics today: the contribution of the human sciences to Canada's efforts in science and technology, and the Research Council's achievements in human sciences that contribute to Canada's success in the globalized XXI st century.
As you know, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council is the federal agency that promotes and supports research and training in the humanities and social sciences, and we are now playing a key role in implementing the new science and technology strategy to make Canada a global economic leader. Our investments in the development of research and talent have helped build a broad, strong foundation of Canadian innovation and expertise on social, economic, cultural, and political issues, as well as on the human dimension of technology, the natural sciences, and health sciences.
Let me give you one example of the projects we fund, as an illustration of the increasing importance of such research. Paul Messinger, a professor at the University of Alberta School of Business, has recently led a pan-Canadian study on e-commerce to explain why Canadian retailers were not keeping pace with Americans in Internet commerce. His analysis analyzed the best conditions for online success. Working with businesses, he led a team to help understand the vital importance of real-time tools for website navigation and decision-making. It proposed policy options to help Canada avoid the boom-bust cycle of Internet business, and now major Canadian retailers are putting these research results into action.
This example illustrates how our researchers help Canadians keep ahead of the changing times, a role that has become increasingly important since SSHRC was created in the late 1970s. As you know, Mr. Chair, we began operations in 1978. We are now celebrating our thirtieth anniversary, our pearl anniversary, so we are celebrating the pearls of wisdom our researchers contribute to Canadian society.
The goals of the new S and T strategy build on past achievements and are directly linked to SSHRC's current ambitions of quality, including the promotion of international excellence; connections across disciplines, between the campus and the community and between Canadian researchers and others around the world; and impact, ensuring that our knowledge and expertise contribute to our prosperity and quality of life. You have received our document called “Framing Our Direction”, which presents these ambitions in the current context.
Specifically, we invest in the people advantage, which is emphasized in the S and T strategy, by supporting the very best and brightest minds. In addition to offering scholarships to students, we support professors who, through their research, inspire and mentor the next generation of Canadians. In the changing economy and society today, our graduates are becoming more important than ever across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors.
Second, we foster the knowledge advantage by nurturing research excellence that builds understanding about people, community, institutions, and societies in the past and present with a view toward making it a better future. As is emphasized in the headlines of our newspapers every day, our research about people, what they think, how they behave and why, is crucial to our prospects in the 21st century.
Third, with respect to the entrepreneurial advantage, we support partnerships, connections, and knowledge sharing to bring the benefits of research to society. We foster innovative collaboration with community organizations, businesses, and government agencies, and we help Canadian experts lead international research networks. We are facilitating and enabling the mobilization of knowledge to enhance understanding and decision-making, in other words, to help build a stronger and stronger society.
Allow me to mention another example to illustrate my point. It is a research project by Mr. Réjean Landry at Laval University who has produced an exceptional body of research on innovation and knowledge transfer. He is particularly interested in ways to provide research results to the companies, governments and communities that need them. He works in partnership with a number of different networks, in health, in public administration, in natural sciences and in technology. In fact, his interdisciplinary approach, the results of his research and his practical recommendations have helped to establish this field of research on an international scale.
SSHRC has, through investments in research, enhanced significantly our capacity to address critical issues such as our aging population, immigration and diversity, the new economy, aboriginal life, and thanks to the additional support given in budget 2007, the research fields of management, business, and finance. The new funding for these fields will increase our understanding of topics such as innovation, entrepreneurship, labour markets, and sustainable economic development across multiple sectors and in the global context. More students, researchers, and partners are now focusing on key issues such as industrial and technological development, information technologies, environment and sustainability, and financial and monetary systems, and now, thanks to budget 2008, we will be able to increase our investments to further support research on the environment and the well-being of northern communities.
Let me also emphasize that at SSHRC we have made major strides to enhance accountability through renewed governance. Our council membership has been revised to be more inclusive of diverse sectors of society. Our organization has been restructured to make us more effective at moving knowledge into practical applications. And given the central importance of independent expert evaluation to ensure both excellence and non-partisan transparency, we are increasing the participation of international researchers in our peer review system in order to ensure that our practices meet the highest international standards.
Let me also emphasize that there has been concerted and enthusiastic collaboration, as described by my colleagues—
I have a question on commercialization. There's a perception that the environment for commercialization in Canada has generally not been as robust as that in the U.S. I'd really appreciate your views on that. And there may be some insight from the community college side, because there is a degree of practicality in community colleges that may be able to benefit commercialization.
When I was in investment banking, our firm did a lot of biotech commercialization work. We found that of all the Canadian provinces, Quebec had the best environment for research, development, and commercialization in health areas.
I'd appreciate your views, first of all, on the nature of commercialization and the environment in Canada and what we should be doing in terms of federal public policy to strengthen commercialization.
I'll jump in because, as you know, commercialization is a subject in the social science humanities and we fund a lot of research on this. Thanks to the additional funding we received last year, I think we have been able to considerably ratchet up interest in this with the new funds in management business finance.
I think the issue has to be viewed from two perspectives. One is from the point of view of the university and the other from the point of view of the larger society. There's a commercialization aspect in terms of goods, and then there's what we call a social innovation aspect in terms of services. So how can we connect new research on campuses to the larger society, both in terms of businesses interested in goods and private-public sector interested in providing services? What we find, on both sides, is that there is a lot of learning to be done and a lot of new mechanisms to be developed in terms of making those links.
I think in the natural sciences and engineering side of things, some of the tech transfer offices that have been built up in recent years have worked on this. There are some different approaches there. On our side, we're developing new structures to facilitate what I was referring to earlier as social innovation--how to get new knowledge about the services side across.
But there's no doubt, I think both on the campus side and in terms of businesses and the public sector, we have a lot of learning to do on how to really maximize those connections.
Good morning, madam. Good morning, gentlemen.
In the light of what Mr. Brison said, one thing strikes me, Mr. Lloyd. You told us, among other things, that industry has little involvement in research. That involvement must be increased. This is not the first time that I have heard that said here at this committee.
As well, Mr. Knight, you mentioned community colleges. I tend to believe that, in science and technology, we should align education with the techniques of industry to a greater degree. I was wondering if we are looking for a tie-in with industry.
Do we have a good tie-in with industry and education, which might result in industry becoming interested in more advanced research? Are these sectors linked?
Mr. Gaffield, you were telling us that at Laval University, for example, Mr. Réjean Landry was bringing data from different sectors together. Should we not be coming up with new ways to ensure that we have students trained in the right areas of technology, that research is going in the right direction, and that we will be able to bring everyone together in the interests of getting things to market effectively?
Those are broad strokes, but that is the world we live in.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I'm going to be very quick with my questions and allow you time to answer. The first question is more to the government witnesses.
How would you decide on which research project sectors you give money to, as far as the process is concerned? I wonder if you could comment on that.
I did want to give Mr. Knight a chance to comment. We hear over and over again that Canadians are really good at the theoretical research, but as my colleague was stating, there seems to be this big commercialization gap, and applied research is very critical for Canada's future. I was wondering whether you see that there's a bias in the system--I've heard this before--towards the universities as opposed to the community colleges.
With that, I'd like to be quiet and let you all respond to that. That should take my six minutes.
Could I follow that up? It's such an important issue.
The question is very interesting, because what we're basically faced with is trying to address and contribute to issues that are in the headlines and preoccupying us today, and at the same time trying to get ready for tomorrow and to prepare the way for our descendants and so on. It's always that balance in trying to do that. I often think about what I like to call the September 10, 2001, story, when we were financing work on the Middle East and the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, and all of sudden, the next day, it became crucial to our understanding of world events.
It's that balancing act. We work at that a lot with our expert committees and in interactions with our colleagues in government and across Canada. I think it's so far, so good--so far no issue has come up instantly where we can't turn and say, wow, we have some experts we can contribute. Then when it becomes important and we get additional investments--management, business, finance, environment, and so on--we can really ratchet that up, but we have that base to build on.
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you, witnesses.
Mr. Knight, you and I have pasts that collide in the municipal area. I come to Parliament with a municipal background. Municipal backgrounds invariably lead to discussions of infrastructure--bricks and mortar and all that sort of thing. I notice in your submission you talk about institutions that are four decades old and were intended to last 40 years, so I did the math and figured that was pretty much the same, so you're facing an infrastructure crisis, essentially, at the community college level, a capitalization crisis.
I've talked to numerous university presidents in Atlantic Canada, and to students on the street whom we meet with quite frequently as parliamentarians, and we've come to learn there is a tuition crisis. University tuition is very high, and university presidents smartly say that part of this, at least in Atlantic Canada, which has an awful lot of older universities and declining populations as well, has to do with lack of recapitalization of their assets.
So, true to my background, I would like to know--and maybe flesh out a little more from you and the other members--what you see as adequate recapitalization in the community college context. Perhaps we can speak to it generally, rather than just about buildings, science and technology infrastructure. All members of the panel would be interested in speaking to it, I think.
Indeed, it's more than bricks and mortar. We're talking about equipment. That's really important. If we don't have the latest, we can't train the students in the highest and most current technologies.
Also, we're facing a really big challenge with human resources in faculty infrastructure. As you can see from the time span we've been operating as institutions, we're going to lose huge numbers of people. I can't put a dollar figure in front of this. I can't tell you specifically where to make these investments, but I think we have to take a very serious look at this.
One of my recommendations is that our sector establish an advisory group or a think group involving different governments and different institutions to really try to get our thoughts around this and come up with some specific suggestions. If we fail, many industries are going to seriously slow down--the construction industry, health services. Most health professionals come out of community colleges--nurses, technicians of many kinds. The railways are crying for people to run them, and they want us to double our outputs of railway technicians. There isn't a sector that doesn't have a problem, and this becomes a national issue.
We have to get our heads around this and we have to make some investments. If we fail to do that, the country will pay a big price in its economic prospects.
I am very struck by the similarity between young Canadian scientists hoping one day to win a Nobel prize, and young Canadian athletes one day hoping to win an Olympic gold medal. In both cases, we are talking about extremely competitive, devoted and intense young Canadians, sometimes brilliant, but generally doomed to failure. They will not get an Olympic medal.
The Canadian government, the sport federations, the universities and a host of scientists seem to have difficulty identifying those who are going to bring us honour and investing taxpayers' money in them. We seem to be destined to finish 17 th in the Olympics and to send people without the slightest hope of getting on the podium who come back saying that they did their best and got a better result than they usually do.
In medicine, physics and chemistry, only five Canadians who studied in Canada have won a Nobel prize. France has ten times that number.
Are we really to believe that you have found a way to identify young scientists with a future, the stars, the geniuses, and to invest in them? Or have you in science not just adopted the same culture of mediocrity that the sport federations have adopted?
May I answer, because it is a good question. In my view, we are not talking about individual awards, we are talking about societal awards.
Every time that we read rankings of countries around the world, we see how well Canada ranks as a society. How is it that a small country, a colony until quite recently, is now on the international stage and that its society is seen from outside as one of the best in the world?
Together, we in Canada have a starting point from which our society can move forward, but not necessarily as individuals. There are 8,000 researchers outside Canada who are studying us in order to understand how our society has succeeded in facing all manner of challenges up to now, and remarkably well at that.
I do not know. In my view, you have to see Canada as a society. You cannot base a ranking on a small group of individuals.
I'm really pleased to have this opportunity to be here today, as I'm not normally on this committee. I thank you for your presentations.
I represent a riding that's about two-thirds of the province of Manitoba. We have a startling situation, I find, in terms of the growth of the mining industry, the growth of the labour demands, and growth of the research demands. As well, we're seeing in the north the requirement for so much work around the environment and environmental studies, and then the need to develop the labour market.
I have a question for Mr. Knight and Mr. Lloyd in particular. We have such a large aboriginal population in northern Manitoba, and we really need to make linkages between the investments. I'd like to get your comments on that.
As the chair, I'm going to take the prerogative to ask a couple of questions.
I was at a session with the University of Alberta's president, Indira Samarasekera, and she gave a wonderful presentation. Then a politician stood up—not I—and asked her a very tough question. He was going to put her in her place. He talked about how she had mentioned all these wonderful topics over a 30-minute talk, and he then asked her to define for him in one sentence what a good university is, because she kept talking about “a good university”. She looked him in the eye, and she said “an institution where the students are lining up to attend and the professors are lining up to teach and do research.” I thought she knocked it out of the park.
So I'm going to put the same challenge to you and ask that you define for me in one sentence, from your perspective, either success or failure.
We'll start with Mr. Knight, and we can go down.
I appreciate those answers, and that sort of leads into my second question. It's a very challenging question for me, as a parliamentarian. I think it's very challenging for any government.
The federal government funds S and T in many ways. You have the human resources side; you have the granting councils; you have Canada research chairs; you have community college funding; you have funding for post-secondary education; you have capital infrastructure; you have the CFI; you have the indirect costs, which are now called the institutional costs of research; you have big science projects, as well as their operational costs; you have the whole commercialization aspect; you get into things like IRAP, further down the innovation continuum; you have Networks of Centres of Excellence; you have centres like AUTO21; and you have the National Research Council. You have all of these excellent agencies and programs and institutions that all come to the government and say, “Here's what we're doing an excellent job in”, and they're right.
I think what Mr. Chartrand said to Mr. Brison was that we could be funding many more researchers here in Canada. I think that's probably true of every granting council or every institution. The challenge for our government is how to define the ratio--how much for human resources, how much for capital infrastructure, how much for institutional costs, how much for commercialization?
You can give me an answer today or you can think about it and get back to us, but as an overall broad policy, would you put 40% into human resources, 40% into infrastructure, and the rest into indirect and operational costs? What ratio would you use if you were the minister or the Prime Minister or the Clerk of the Privy Council?
Maybe we'll start the other way, with Mr. Gaffield.
I will ask members to take their seats, please.
We do have a motion to deal with under committee business. We will not be going in camera. It's a motion, so we'll be continuing in public.
Ladies and gentlemen, I did want to make an announcement. I was informed by Ms. Nash's office that unfortunately her father passed away yesterday. I'd just like to pass that along. If members could, I think an e-mail or a note from you would be very much appreciated. That is why she has not been here this week. I thought I would pass that along from her office.
We do have a motion, and I'm hoping we can deal with this and finish it off today.
Madame Brunelle, perhaps you want to speak to your motion. I think everyone has a copy of the motion.