House of Commons Hansard #128 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives lack of empathy is astounding.

If individuals are lucky enough to never need EI or use it only once, then they may be okay, but if a community relies on seasonal industries such as tourism, fishing, forestry or agriculture, or if individuals have been laid off more than once, the government has its sights on them.

EI does not belong to the Conservatives to change on a minister's whim; it belongs to the workers who paid into it.

Why is the government forcing a job on out-of-work Canadians?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, my question is this: why does the NDP not want to help Canadians get back to work faster? That is exactly what we are trying to do.

We know there are work shortages and skills shortages right across this country. We want to connect those who are out of work with skills in their local area to the jobs that are available. It only makes sense to try to help Canadians into those jobs before we try to bring in people from offshore.

That is why we are making changes: to help make these individuals aware of jobs in their local area, to provide them with the supports they need to get them and to make sure that they are better off accepting that work than not.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, while running for the Conservatives may mean an individual never needs EI, other Canadians actually do have to look for jobs.

These short-sighted changes are an attack on the workers who own EI. Canadians who have paid into EI should have access to it. Even before these latest restrictions, fewer than 40% of unemployed Canadians qualified, an all-time low.

Is that the Conservatives' job plan—handing cushy jobs to their failed candidates while forcing skilled Canadian workers to take minimum-wage jobs?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct the record on that. Almost 85% of people who pay into the EI system, an insurance program, do have the hours eligible to collect should they lose their job due to no fault of their own. We are proud of that figure.

EI is there as a temporary income support for people who have lost their job through no fault of their own, to support them and their families while they are looking for a new job.

We are asking people, making sure and clarifying that people know what their responsibilities are in terms of looking for a new job, and we are providing support to help them find those new jobs. It will be good for them and their families.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, EI belongs to workers and employers who pay into it, not the government.

When a mill closes in New Brunswick, the Conservatives want to punish employees. When lobster quotas are full, they penalize the fishing communities. These industries deserve respect.

Why is the government refusing to consult the individuals, the communities and the provinces affected? Why is the government making changes that blame workers for losing their jobs? What a shame.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, quite the opposite is true. In fact, we are trying to help those people who lost their jobs when the mill closed. We are there with Service Canada to help them adjust and make sure they get the EI that is there to support them while they are looking for a new job.

We are also going to be sending notifications to people to let them be aware of jobs that are available in their area, something they did not receive much of in the past, something against which the NDP has already voted. We want to help Canadians get back to work as quickly as possible.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I will send the information by F-35.

The Conservatives are not just going to limit access to employment insurance and lower wages. They are going to take things even further by replacing the employment insurance boards of referees with a new organization, but we do not know who will hear the appeals, how the process will work, or how long it will take. What we do know, however, is that there will be 10 times fewer people to hear appeals by the unemployed. Naturally, this is all concealed in the Conservatives' Trojan horse bill.

Why are the Conservatives trying to quietly pass this major reform of the appeal process?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we should ask the following question: why does the NDP not want to help the unemployed find new jobs? Why?

We want to help them because it is better for them, their families, employers and the country if they are working.

Right now, we have a shortage of workers all across Canada. We want to help Canadians by connecting them to available jobs.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, 60% of unemployed people do not qualify for employment insurance. That is the real problem.

The Conservatives apparently decided that their biases and their irresponsible ideology would win out over reason.

They are now waging open war on seasonal workers, the Atlantic provinces, the Gaspé and millions of Canadians who need the employment insurance fund, their fund.

Meanwhile, the government is making changes to boards of referees to ensure that there will be no possibility of appeal.

Why is this government going after workers and targeting the economy of Atlantic Canada and the Gaspé? I might add that it cut $18 billion from ACOA—

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. Minister of Human Resources.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I must correct what the hon. member said.

The fact is that nearly 85% of workers who have paid into the employment insurance fund have access to benefits when they lose their job through no fault of their own. We are proud of that fact.

Our government is making changes to help these people find another job.

There is a shortage of workers in Canada, and we would rather help our unemployed workers find jobs.

Work
Oral Questions

May 28th, 2012 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, again, the Conservatives have pushed the panic button.

Here we go again with another back-to-work bill. This time, it is the railway workers whose rights are being trampled on. Five ministers held press conferences today. Were they trying to protect pensions? No. Were they defending good salaries? No. They came out to justify eliminating the rights of workers.

Do the Conservatives realize that the workers drive our economy, that they buy bicycles and clothing and spend money at the small businesses in their communities? Do the Conservatives realize that people need good salaries and good pensions in order to keep driving the economy?

Work
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, indeed, I was joined by my colleagues today so we could update the Canadian public on the effect that the six-day work stoppage has had on businesses that are not necessarily Canadian Pacific. They are in the automotive industry, the natural resources industry, the agriculture industry and the transport industry.

We are seeing layoffs. We are seeing people cut back. We are seeing those things happen. That is why we are acting today by tabling legislation. I say to the member that the real reason for the press conference was to ask the NDP to support us in passing this quickly, so that we may be able to get people back to work sooner.

Work
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry. It will not happen.

It is always a race to the bottom with those Conservatives. This is the sixth time in six years they have legislated workers back to work. They have beaten the Liberal record for back-to-work laws.

Well, 5,000 workers and counting are asking themselves what they have done to deserve the wrath of the minister. Why are Conservatives always picking winners and losers, and why are they crushing the principle of collective bargaining? Why are they crushing the principle of free collective bargaining?

Work
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we are firmly on the side of the Canadian public and the national economy. We are not taking one side over the other. The economy is being affected. It is a six-day strike. We have provided ample opportunity to the parties. They are facing very serious issues at the table. They were unable to do it and finish their own collective agreement. As such, we will be making our legislation known this afternoon.