Mr. Speaker, since the employment insurance reforms of 1996, fewer workers qualify for the EI program.
Women were the hardest hit by this reform and they are continuing to pay the price. Going from full-time to seasonal employment, women, and particularly single mothers, of whom only 33% are eligible for EI, have found themselves facing poverty.
The Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities tabled a report yesterday on the employment insurance program, containing 20 recommendations.
According to Radio-Canada, the rumour is that the government might change the method of calculating benefits based on the 14 best weeks worked in the previous 12 months, instead of the 12 best weeks, and reduce the number of hours required for new entrants to 750 from 960.
That is contrary to the recommendations of this parliamentary committee, which the Liberal members strongly supported.
The NDP recommends that the Liberal government apply the recommendations made by the committee, which includes Liberals among its members.