Mr. Speaker, there is another important aspect to this story, and that is that 1,000 packing plant workers have been laid off.
Recently the government agreed that workers quarantined as a result of SARS were immediately eligible for EI benefits. However packing plant workers have been laid off as a result of another quarantine, this one affecting beef cattle. Provincial governments and even employers are calling for the waiting period to be waived immediately.
Since the government does not put one red cent into the EI fund but simply creams off the annual surplus, when will it waive the waiting period for employees in the beef industry?