Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to rise to finish off my speech that I started some weeks ago.
We are again talking about the private member's bill brought forward by the member for Cariboo—Prince George which proposes to reform the EI system. It is a good idea to look at reforming the EI system, but unfortunately I do not agree with this legislation.
As I was saying weeks ago, when looking at a private member's bill we should be thinking about how it would affect the entire community rather than just one segment of the community. We have to think about whether it would make the entire community better or worse off. Unfortunately this legislation would make the community worse off.
I explained previously why I think that but I will reiterate it again here tonight. These changes would remove training opportunities from those who could really benefit from them, training opportunities that would prevent people from pursuing the wrong track of life, or training opportunities that would move them back into the mainstream where they can become productive. This legislation is not worth supporting at this point.
In case members are not following Hansard and paying attention to my every word, I will remind them of what I said in my speech a month ago.
Although I proudly represent beautiful Burnaby, British Columbia, I grew up in rural Nova Scotia in an area where there was really not much opportunity for folks and times were tough. I had a lot of friends. Some went down the right path but some went down the wrong path. After going down the right path myself, I found that no matter how hard I tried I could not get a job. I found myself on unemployment insurance, as it was called then.
At that time, job training was provided. People were placed in a workplace where they would receive training. That really changed my life. Working with a business and eventually a municipality, I became interested in local government and doing things for the community. I was able to gain some practical skills and knowledge about how a local government worked. That really piqued my interest in municipal government. All of that came from an unemployment insurance training program.
Through that process I met a number of people who took the wrong path and were incarcerated. They managed to receive EI and then get into the training programs--