moved for leave to introduce Bill C-291, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (waiting period and maximum special benefits).
Mr. Speaker, we all have family members or close friends who unfortunately have cancer or serious injuries that prevent them from earning an income to support their children or who are in very difficult social situations.
I have presented petitions in this House with thousands of signatures. In response to those petitions and the tireless work of Marie-Hélène Dubé, it is time to make two changes to the Employment Insurance Act.
The bill would extend the maximum period for which special benefits for illness, injury or quarantine may be paid from 15 weeks to 50 weeks. More importantly, it would also change the infamous waiting period, which forces individuals to wait two weeks before receiving money.
By resolving this situation, we can provide some relief for these individuals. They are already suffering from their illness; they are already suffering serious social and family problems. It is time for us to fix this for them. Our role as legislators is to improve the quality of life of our constituents.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)