Mr. Speaker, transitional measures were put in place in 2000, after the employment insurance economic regions were inadequately reconfigured. Certain regions, like the Bas-Saint-Laurent–Côte-Nord region, have had a blended unemployment rate for more than 10 years, which was adopted in an effort to correct this error until the next reconfiguration. On March 12, 2011, the government started gradually phasing out these transitional measures.
But many unemployed and seasonal workers will not qualify unless these transitional measures are extended. Instead of undertaking a sweeping reform of this outdated system that does not reflect the current reality of workers, the Conservatives are keeping thousands of people in suspense and in poverty. The 2011 budget does not extend the transitional measures, which would have been good, as would a fair reform of the employment insurance system. Once again, the Conservatives are showing their contempt for the regions of Quebec and—