Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel for his thoughtful comments on a number of issues.
As the Conservative Party's critic on employment insurance, I was particularly interested in his comments in respect of the federal government's practice of repeatedly overcharging Canadian workers and Canadian small business people on their premiums to the tune of, I believe he said $45 billion. There are a couple of aspects of that which are profoundly negative to the country as a whole. I would like his thoughts on them.
The first aspect would be the approximately $6,000 that the government has taken, under false pretences by the way, out of each and every Canadian household in extra EI premiums. It has used that for other things entirely besides EI. What impact has that had on the people of his constituency and his province?
There is a second aspect of the EI overcharge I would like him to comment on. A considerable amount of employment insurance premiums are gathered up by the federal government from provincial governments and municipal governments as well. When the overcharge is to the tune of billions of dollars, that money is taken by way of what I would consider to be an illegal and unconstitutional transfer from the provincial and local governments. It is put in the coffers of the federal government which uses it for steamship subsidies and things like that, failed boondoggle gun registry programs and wasteful mechanisms that Liberals seem to be constantly developing.
I am curious as to what the member thinks about these aspects of the EI overcharge. I would like his thoughts.