Mr. Speaker, I am not going to give an opinion of what happened in the working group. I have made that statement in the House. I will just deal with the facts.
The working group, not just Liberal members but Conservative members together agreed to ask the department to give a price on a 360-hour national standard. We also asked for a price on a 420-hour national standard. We received a cost for a 360-hour national standard that was clearly inflated, that indicated if we brought forward a 360-hour national standard for one year it would increase the unemployment rate in the country by 2% which was laughed off the table and the Conservatives had to retract.
In the 1970s when EI made its big change from what it had been in the 1940s until 1970, it is said that there was a 2% increase in unemployment because of EI. I do not know if that is true or not, but I know back then people could quit their jobs and collect EI. There were a lot more ways that people could collect EI. To suggest there was a labour market impact of 2% is an absolute travesty.
The Conservatives changed their view a week later. We went to the Parliamentary Budget Officer who confirmed the Liberal Party's estimates, the TD Bank's estimates, CCPA's estimates, CLC's estimates, everyone's estimates of somewhere between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion. The government still uses the old number. So far it has not apologized or retracted that and I think that it should.