Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.
The first petition is signed by dozens of Manitobans. The current EI program provides adoptive parents with 35 weeks of paid leave, followed by a further 15 weeks of unpaid leave. Biological mothers are given both the first 35 weeks and the latter 15 weeks as paid leave. We know that adoptions are expensive, lengthy and stressful to adoptive parents and their families. There have been recent studies out that an additional 15 weeks of paid leave would help parents to support the adoptive children and to help them through a difficult period.
The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to support Bill C-413 tabled by my colleague, the member for Burnaby—New Westminster, which would amend the Employment Insurance Act and the Canada Labour Code to ensure that an adoptive parent is entitled to the same amount of paid leave as the biological mother of a newborn child.