Mr. Speaker, I do not doubt the sincerity of the member for Acadie—Bathurst but I would like, if I may, to give a few details about the situation he is describing in his riding. It is a situation which exists not just in northern New Brunswick but in many areas of Canada.
Seasonal industries and jobs are important elements of the rural economy in many areas of Canada. We recognize that seasonal workers are in a special situation and that, in order to help them, the Government of Canada must work with various stakeholders.
This is precisely what the minister told the member in reply. These stakeholders obviously include not just the federal government but also provincial governments, including the government of New Brunswick, communities, businesses and workers themselves.
This is a solution which will make it possible to help workers in the long term. It involves not just employment insurance, but rather the creation of more jobs, which will mean that these workers will be able to work for a longer period of the year.
It also involves diversifying local economies and creating new opportunities. I will give a few examples, if I may. Human Resources Development Canada has approved a grant of $252,625 for the Comité d'adaptation de la main-d'oeuvre to help it come up with job-based solutions which will help seasonal workers in northwestern New Brunswick.
This is the area the hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst comes from. I do not know why he has heard nothing about this committee. It most certainly exists. If memory serves, the committee even came to meet with members of the House standing committee on human resources development on a number of occasions. So this committee will receive $252,625.
In addition, there is a labour market development framework agreement between the government of New Brunswick and the Government of Canada. Under this agreement, the Government of Canada has paid out—it is not planning to pay out, but has actually paid out—$90 million to help the people of New Brunswick acquire job skills and find and keep work.
Under this agreement—I will get into some specifics here—the province has a responsibility to develop and implement local employment programs. The approach used by New Brunswick is based on developing long term job strategies. This is also what the federal government wants for seasonal workers.
Under the labour market agreement, the government of New Brunswick provides training and promotes the development of new skills. It also provides financial assistance to stimulate long term employment for the unemployed.
The government of New Brunswick also promised to subject labour market development agreements to detailed assessments. These are being made not only for New Brunswick, but also for a number of provinces. Several of them have already been released during the year. These assessments will help collect reliable information on the program's impact and effectiveness.
As a government, we have tried to help these people. The hon. member opposite forgets that a number of measures have been taken by the federal government. I will simply mention two: we changed the hours based system and we eliminated the intensity rule this year.