I wasn't invited here, Mr. Godin, to discuss the NDP's position. I'm here to explain our organization's stand on Bill C-50. You can vote whichever way you choose. I'm not here to talk about that.
I'm here to tell members of Parliament that, clearly, the government isn't listening. It has ignored the historic number of Canadians calling for improvements to EI eligibility requirements. And I do mean historic. At its meeting in late July, the Council of the Federation unanimously called for a resolution to the eligibility issue. While the provinces cannot agree on a formula, they do agree that the eligibility issue needs to be addressed. The government is not listening, however.
Mr. Godin, Bill C-50 introduces a very pernicious notion, that of deserving, and non-deserving workers. It calls for an extension of benefits based on the number of weeks during which benefits were claimed in the past. Decisions will be based on maximum contribution limits attained, that is on figures that the department doesn't have. These are numbers in the possession of the Department of National Revenue. This will require searching back 15 years in the archives. Therefore, there is something deeply pernicious about this bill, and for that reason, we oppose it.