Mr. Speaker, first I would like to express some gratitude on behalf of Tom Hanks who, had the Minister of Human Resources Development sought a different career, may not have won the award he received last night.
I would like to point out a couple of things. The minister talked about the apprenticeship programs, student loans, the youth service corps. He lumps them all together and says that we reject them. That is wrong. Certain programs have more merit than others.
For example, the apprenticeship program leads specifically to a direct career job and is something well worth pursuing. On the other hand to say that our poor youths after graduating from college can be helped by putting them in a make work community project which does nothing to enhance their career expectations may not be good value spent.
I would look to the unemployment insurance rebates. We often hear about smoke and mirrors. Let us look at that particular one. After we carry away the mirrors and disperse the smoke what we have is a raise in UI premiums by the government which, even before it implemented it, says: "We have created another job in small companies". I would suggest if that were true what the minister should have done was raise the rates by $3 instead of the 30 cents. Then the government could have knocked that entire $3 off and would have had 10 times as many jobs.
If the infrastructure program is needed, fine. Let us talk about the need for infrastructure repair. Let us not bring in the smoke and mirrors again and call it job creation because it does not create jobs. We have already discussed at length the fact that most of these jobs will be put to contract which will go to companies that have their crews and it will not create any new employment at all.
In creating the jobs we are talking about, the government will spend $70,000, according to studies, to create a $35,000 job which produces a $10,000 benefit to the government.
To create jobs for $1.6 million worth of people we would need $96 billion. Even if the roof of this building opened up and that money dropped in and it was spent without increasing the deficit, we would still have no jobs at the end of that year when that money was spent. The government's infrastructure program does not create employment. It simply addresses a different problem and the problem remains.
How is the government going to bring on long term jobs when it maintains the old Liberal strategy of tax and spend and not addressing the deficit?