Thanks for that question.
First of all, I have to point out that we did announce the renewal of the extended EI pilot for people in regions of chronically high unemployment and not many year-round full-time jobs.
Secondly, a number of different things are in place to help people in these positions. Of course people have employment insurance initially, and on top of that they have employment insurance part II benefits. A total of $2 billion a year goes to the provinces to help retrain the people who are eligible for EI.
Then, of course, there's the targeted initiative for older workers, which we brought in. That is helping a lot of people. We've announced 40 projects around the country, 20 of them in Quebec.
As I said before, the good news is that people are stepping from those programs right into jobs. That includes older workers, and in fact at a much higher rate. Last month older workers made up the majority of the successful job seekers in this country. That is pretty remarkable. It's tremendous news. Obviously older workers have a lot that they can still contribute.
We've also announced that under the new labour market agreements, $500 million a year will go to help people find jobs when they're not eligible for employment insurance. This would include, for instance, a recent immigrant looking for their first job experience, someone with a disability, someone with low literacy skills, or someone on social assistance.
We've also doubled the size of the aboriginal skills employment program. That is a tremendous program that's helping a lot of people.
So although I'm very sympathetic to people in all parts of the country who are struggling with these closures, this is not the same country it was fifteen years ago, for instance. There are lots of opportunities out there, and we have to make sure we give people every possible chance to be successful.