Thank you very much. We listened. We made sure that happened. That has continued.
We have extended the EI transitional measures for two regions in Quebec and New Brunswick until we complete a national review of EI boundaries.
In addition, we have continued with three pilot projects currently under way in regions of high unemployment, those being the best 14 weeks project, the working while on claim pilot project, and the new entrant/re-entrant pilot project.
Our approach is broad based yet targeted. It is aimed at providing opportunities for all Canadians to participate in our healthy and growing economy.
The Advantage Canada plan has outlined the government's approach to moving forward. One key goal of the government is to create the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world.
We have already taken action on this plan by creating the apprenticeship incentives grant, by working to improve foreign credential recognition, and by launching the targeted initiative for older workers. These changes provide real value to Canadians and address the labour issues of the 21st century.
Advantage Canada is about giving people the tools to succeed in a knowledge economy. This is what Canadians want from their government. Canadians want to be active participants in the labour market and in their communities. To do this they need the right tools, but they also want to know that EI will be there when they need it. The current system achieves that balance and the proposals in the bill put that system in jeopardy.
There are strong policy and evidence based arguments to suggest that the proposed changes in Bill C-269 are not in line with the needs of today's labour market and the economy as a whole.
We believe that our holistic approach to the labour market and our specific targeting of measures within the existing EI program is the best avenue to follow.
To make the changes that the member for Laurentides—Labelle has put forward in this bill, we would need to conduct an exhaustive study. We would need evidence. We would need to hear from effective witnesses. We would need answers to many other important questions. For these reasons, we are unable to support the proposals in Bill C-269.