Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I find it unfortunate to hear what you are telling us, and the Bloc Québécois shares your views.
A little earlier, the parliamentary secretary said that we must focus on stimulating the economy and that it is urgent to adopt the implementation bill. However, the bill contains some elements which make it unacceptable. I denounce the support given by the Liberals to the government, which has included ideological reforms in a budget which should only be focused on economic stimulus.
As a member of Parliament, I am almost ashamed of talking to my constituents, whom I run into on a regular basis. These people need housing. The budget does nothing to increase worker eligibility to employment insurance. Less than 50% of workers receive employment insurance; the other half are not eligible because they have not worked enough hours. The government has chosen to extend the length of time people can receive EI benefits, but of those eligible, only 10% receive benefits for the entirety of that period. This measure is a failed attempt to help workers.
The problems are huge. The government has attacked pay equity, something which has been discussed at length. The stimulus plan also includes a measure regarding collective bargaining, and it amends the Competition Act. It even has a section on the Navigable Waters Protection Act. In fact, the stimulus plan would see the act amended. We studied the bill at the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and we did not get to the bottom of things. So now it has been included in the budget and we are being asked to quickly accept it. So you can understand why the Bloc Québécois did not support the budget.
I have a question for Mr. François Roy regarding social housing. It is an issue which deeply concerns me; there is a huge shortfall of public housing. Statistics show that Quebec alone needs 52,000 social housing units. You said that 800 units might be built under this budget. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which used to be in the social housing business, has a surplus of over $8 billion. We might ask ourselves what this surplus is good for. The Auditor General has said that a reserve or surplus of $2 billion is more than enough.
I would like to know what Mr. Roy thinks about the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's surplus, which could have been used in the stimulus plan to specifically help built new social housing.