Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques for her question.
When the Employment Insurance Act was amended in 1996, there were two phases to employment insurance. The purpose of phase 2 was to offer training. That is the only government program that an individual does not have access to unless that individual has been chosen to receive training.
People want to work, and they want to qualify. This is a sad situation, because employment insurance could help so many workers. The surplus is not $54 million; it is $54 billion. Just think of all the good things that could happen when an industry finds itself in trouble. The government could provide training, and it could set up programs to help older workers until they turn 65. The money is there, but the government does not want to help because the employment insurance fund is its cash cow.