Mr. Speaker, perhaps our colleagues sense that a storm is brewing. Let us hope so, as it is not long until the holiday season. If there is one person who is stirring up a storm at this moment, it is the Minister
of Human Resources Development. Yesterday, in fact, this minister told my colleague from Mercier that the transition period in the new employment insurance program had started in January. He said:
It is time the hon. member for Mercier realized that the reason why some provisions of the act were implemented on July 1 while others will take effect January 1 is precisely to give people time to adjust to the reform.
Now, there is a little problem; it would be hard to have something in application since January 1, when the act was passed in June. The minister has a problem. In the spirit of fair play, however, I will give him the chance to correct himself today. Yesterday he told us that there would be changes to the regulations, which he described as minor, in order to effect the transition between the old and the new systems.
Can the Minister of Human Resources Development confirm that these minor changes to which he referred include a hypothesis that, effective January 5 and for the application of the new system, weeks worked prior to December 1996 are all deemed to have been 35 hours in length for the purposes of eligibility for the new system? Can the minister tells us whether or not this measure exists?