Evidence of meeting #44 for Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was labour.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Alexis Conrad  Director General, Horizontal Management and Integration Directorate, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
  • Yves Gingras  Senior Director, Economic Policy Directorate, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development
  • Catherine Scott  Director, Trades and Apprenticeship Division, Labour Market Integration Directorate, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development

4:50 p.m.

Director General, Horizontal Management and Integration Directorate, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development

Alexis Conrad

Certainly a lot of our focus has been on where we transfer money to provinces to allow them to invest in their own local labour market priorities to retrain and to upskill people who have either suffered job loss or are not firmly attached to the labour market, so that they can move into areas and jobs where there are actually vacancies.

June 18th, 2012 / 4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

There's no current, real, major study going on as to how to move that group of people, those 130,000, toward.... Would that be an ongoing thing, or not really?

You're not involved in that, anyway. Would that be more provincial? Okay.

There's just one case in point, and it's as much cautionary as anything. In the backgrounder that was provided with regard to the recent EI changes, the department came forward with a number of examples.

There was one example that struck me—the one about the unemployed nannies collecting EI in Ontario. The number of nannies collecting EI was about the same as the number of temporary workers who are currently doing that job. But with the changes to the EI, you guys wouldn't be able to get a fix as to whether or not those nannies live within a one-hour radius or anything like that...?

Here's the concern. What struck me was that the information and the examples coming out of the department were somewhat misleading. They would paint the picture that there are 700 nannies sort of sitting around while 700 temporary foreign workers assume those jobs. Do you see the concern I would have with trying to paint that picture?

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Ed Komarnicki

I'm not sure if you would be comfortable answering that or not, but if you wish to answer it, go ahead. I think we're straying a bit from the object of our study—

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Well—

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Ed Komarnicki

—but I'll leave it to you as to whether you wish to answer it or not.

4:50 p.m.

Director General, Horizontal Management and Integration Directorate, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development

Alexis Conrad

To be honest, I haven't seen the exact example you're referring to, so it would be difficult—

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Ed Komarnicki

So it's a hypothetical—

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

With those examples—

4:50 p.m.

Director General, Horizontal Management and Integration Directorate, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development

Alexis Conrad

It would be difficult to comment—

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

You haven't seen those examples? They were part of the announcement of the EI changes—

4:50 p.m.

A voice

[Inaudible—Editor]...the study—

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Ed Komarnicki

Just a moment.

Go ahead.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Simcoe—Grey, ON

There are specific assistant and associate deputy ministers who are responsible for employment insurance. If we do end up going down that path at some point in time, I would encourage the member to ask these questions of that individual as opposed to these individuals here, who are here with respect to the specific study.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Ed Komarnicki

Yes, I've considered that.

My view is that you're going to a place where I don't think it's fair for these witnesses to answer, so I would rule it out of order.

If you want to reframe that, go ahead, but—

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Chair, with absolute respect, we know the minister has said that because of the “unprecedented skills shortages, it will be critical to better connect Canadians with available jobs” and has announced “improvements to EI that will help Canadians who want to get work, get back to work”. So—