Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. I cannot of course provide figures, because I do not have them for my riding. But the member is definitely right. If there is a reduction on the one hand, but on the other hand an increase is imposed by the Minister of Finance on employers and workers, then the first measure is offset by the second one.
Since he brought this up, I can tell the hon. member that in my riding, until this year, the unemployment rate did not allow us to benefit from the transitional jobs fund, which was strongly criticized.
My constituents often ask me “Yes, but are there cases like this everywhere?” We saw that these cases are predominantly in the Prime Minister's riding. There are also some in Montreal, but not in my riding. The reason for that is simple: my riding was not eligible for the funds, supposedly because the unemployment rate was too low.
But later on—and the hon. member must have noticed the same thing in his own riding—we saw that the current minister had another way of implementing the act. She applied it where there were pockets of poverty. We all have pockets of poverty in our ridings, but the minister made sure not to mention that rule. Therefore, people did not know about it, and no projects were implemented under that rule.
Under the new fund and the new standards, my riding is now entitled, like the others, to money, but at a lower level. Over the past year, about two businesses in my riding were able to benefit from the new fund. Therefore, it still does not have a significant impact on my riding.