Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. He is in a better position that I am; he is a government member. He should get his government to act on the decisions made in terms of family policy.
The advantage is yours, dear colleague, and I urge you to talk to your government to ensure that women can choose between staying at home to care for their children or joining the labour force.
You are in the best position to do that.
I realize that, ideally, the decision should not be made on a financial basis. There is also a need to give women the opportunity to achieve their full potential through employment. And this is no easy task nowadays. Many women are facing divorce. We know very well how hard it is for women who are returning to work.
In this respect, I would like to say a word about a policy put in place by this government with its new employment insurance plan that will penalize any woman who has been away from the labour market for any length of time. Women will be required to work many hours to qualify for benefits under the new Employment Insurance Act. We all know that the magic number is 910 hours of work, just to qualify for benefits under the new employment insurance policy.
I could go on for hours about some government policies that do not necessarily help women decide whether to stay at home to raise their children or to re-enter the workforce. Start by implementing real, equitable measures for women, then raise the issue again for discussion.