Mr. Speaker, first of all, I agree with some aspects of what the previous speaker said. Canadians have every right to criticize the present Liberal government because it was elected on a platform of jobs, jobs, jobs, but in the end it is just coasting. It creates jobs piecemeal, while just as many are being lost, so that net job creation is zero.
This government plays a lot with words, and I think that is significant. Instead of unemployment insurance it now says employment insurance, but for heaven's sake, the contents should be what it says on the label. There should be something to help evaluate the impact in terms of job creation and helping us to get out of this mess.
We in the Bloc Quebecois are concerned about job creation. We see in these reforms a lot of measures that will have a negative impact on job creation, including the fact that young people who come on the labour market and fail to accumulate 910 hours will remain dependent, will go back on welfare and well become part of the welfare cycle. This is wrong and lends further credence to the fact that this is a lost generation, and that we cannot accept.
We in the Bloc Quebecois have a different perception of employment. We agree with the Reform Party in some respects. There is also a structural and organizational problem in Canada.
We have developed a system in which one government has the power to collect taxes and spend money in jurisdictions it does not know and does not control, and has developed a fantastic bureaucracy to be able to function. This has created a lot of public service jobs but today, at the operational level, we realize this no longer works. Yes, we have a problem with the plumbing. We will have to deal with a number of things, but we also have a problem with the architecture: I am referring to the fact that governments do not have clearcut jurisdictions.
From the federalist point of view, which I do not share, one could say it is entirely normal that in Canada international relations come under the jurisdiction of a federal Parliament. However, manpower is a not an area in which the federal government can be effective, and this is borne out by unemployment rates that are unacceptable, that are much too high and that show a significant spread. There are marked differences between the regions in central Canada and around the federal government, and more distant regions.
The maritimes, Quebec and other regions outside larger urban centres always seem to have higher unemployment rates than the metropolitan areas. The system puts the regions at a disadvantage, which means that young people must look for employment elsewhere. If we keep the 910-hour standard, you will see a large number of young people between the ages of 18 and 23 who may have managed to get summer jobs in their own regions but will have to leave to get jobs in the city, and we are just going to aggravate this exodus.
Yes, the Bloc is concerned about employment, but as far as the solutions are concerned, we think it is also a matter of the structure and management of manpower training and also the fact that it should be more closely related to the needs of the people concerned and integrated with our educational resources.
When we have a government like the one in Quebec that is responsible for the Labour Code, for occupational health and safety legislation and for labour standards, and we have another government that is going to introduce five measures dealing with issues such as wage subsidies and income supplements, this will further complicate the system. Someone somewhere in the Department of Human Resources Development will then be able to say he is an expert on something no one else understands.
This means he can justify his job, but this is not efficient, and in North America we can no longer afford to operate this way. If we want to be competitive on international markets, decision making must be brought as close as possible to the people. That should be
the government's objective. If the federal government does not adjust and act accordingly, it will be swept away.