Mr. Speaker, I thank and congratulate the member for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine for again raising issues related to employment insurance, or unemployment insurance.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development has given us a real history and has berated the House and parliamentarians for raising employment insurance yet again in the House, asking to consider changes. That is our right and our responsibility. In certain regions of the country it is even more acute that those changes be considered.
Consider, for instance, the situation now in Alberta. There is no unemployment in Alberta. They are paying people in fast food restaurants twice what they are paid in most other provinces because they cannot find enough people. These people pay their employment insurance and will not collect any benefits because there is full employment in the extreme.
There are regions of the country where that is not the case. The member has laid out, on behalf of his constituents, his province and the Maritimes, where seasonal industries are a unique challenge for the system. Right now the system does not properly respond to that economic, industrial or business based reality.
We could ask why these seasonal workers do not get another job after that season is over and go into another business rather than another season. We could say that the onus is on them. That would be an ideal solution if there were another seasonal industry in the next season where they could readily get a job.
It does not happen that seamlessly. The reality is people are trying to work hard, trying to make a living and supporting their families and themselves, but there is a disruption and it is a constant disruption.
Maybe the question for the parliamentary secretary to ask of the minister is this. Do we want to pay some attention to the unique situations in regions and provinces of our country, where in fact the options are not as readily available? Do we really want to let it keep going?
Are there some options? Could there be some business development initiatives to create the work in those areas where there will a skilled and ready workforce available for companies that are there? That is the party that talked about the Maritimes as having a defeatist attitude, that they did not want to work. That was the Prime Minister.
I know the Conservative attitude. Anybody who claims EI must be a burden on society, that they are doing it on purpose and taking money out of the system.
This is a rash condemnation of a lot of Canadians who are in that situation. In my own riding a lot of people who collect EI. Also a lot of people pay EI all their lives and never collect a penny of EI benefits in their entire working career. That is a good thing because EI is an insurance program. It is our wish that no Canadian would ever have to draw on those benefits.
The system should be there regardless of where a person lives in Canada, to ensure that there can be some support and assistance to allow people to live in dignity with their family when they cannot get a job.
We also know there are specific cases in the industries that the member raised such as the tourism, forestry and fisheries industries. These are vital industries. Some would ask this question. If they are so vital and if they are seasonal, which means they are in high demand for skilled people at the time when the season is at its peak, why are those industries paying so poorly and thereby reducing effectively the amount of benefits for which anyone would qualify? This is a problem to be addressed.
This bill needs a royal recommendation and it is clear that is not going to be forthcoming from the government. That has already been stated. The other day the Speaker reaffirmed that this bill requires a royal recommendation. It will get the debate, but at the end of third reading debate, the question will not be put, the bill will die and we will have had this discussion.
Every time we have this discussion the member should take some encouragement from the fact that in the Parliament of Canada we are raising again for the interest of anyone whose ears will listen that there are challenges that we can meet.
The parliamentary secretary preferred not to talk about the member's bill which is her right and I respect her right, but to say that it was the Liberals who mismanaged the fund, well there is a commission--