Madam Speaker, we would fools not to agree with the hon. gentleman that moneys invested today in youth and in society in general will certainly pay dividends in the future.
The hon. member talks about governments past and the fact that we are all to blame for the child poverty issue and the issue of poverty in Canada. I could not agree more. Members will never hear me defend any government, whether it is federal or provincial, on adequately addressing the poverty issue over the last 10 or 15 years in particular. They certainly have not.
Let me point out to the hon. member that the number of children living in poverty was actually going down right up until 1984. Since 1984 the problem has become more acute.
We can all blame governments past, the Mulroney government, the Trudeau government, or the current government for where we stand today on child poverty, but I do not think we solve the issue in that way. The numbers of people who have been forced on to the welfare rolls because of the EI policies the government has adopted is very evident.
As members of the task force go across the country many people come before us and say that a number of years ago they worked for seven or eight months of the year and they would get unemployment insurance. Employment programs have been all but eliminated. Thirty per cent of the people who become unemployed are the people who actually receive unemployment insurance. These people are forced on to the welfare rolls and the whole cycle of poverty is compounded even more.
Yes, governments have done a lot of damage, but I knowledge that they have also done a lot of good.