Mr. Speaker, changes were made to employment insurance to help unemployed workers find suitable employment. They help them, their family and the local economy. Everyone wins.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear. A claimant would not be required to take a job unless it puts them in a better financial position than being on employment insurance.
What we are doing is helping employment insurance claimants re-enter the workforce, not penalizing them.
We are ensuring that EI is there for people who paid into the system who are without work and who need it.
We also know that not everyone lives the same reality. Personal circumstances are different for everyone. For that very reason, the changes recognize that personal circumstances must be taken into consideration when assessing whether an employment opportunity is suitable.
We take into account the commute, the working conditions, the type of work, the salary, the hours of work and the personal situation. Not one of those factors is more important than the others.
We know Canadians want to work, but some face challenges in finding suitable jobs. They may not know where or how to find available jobs. They may not be aware that their skills match needs in another industry or occupation. Others still may not know about the supports available to help them in their job search.
The changes we made to employment insurance encourage and help unemployed workers find jobs in their region and in their field.
We have enhanced support measures, such as job alerts, to help EI claimants with their job search. With the enhanced job alert system, individuals can receive daily notices regarding new job postings that match their profile.
We are helping EI claimants get back into the job market, as they are always better off working than receiving EI.
We are taking measures to connect employers with job seekers and to keep Canadians in the workforce.
Full-time jobs have been increasing across occupations and in many industries. In fact, since July 2009, employment has grown by over one million jobs. This represents the strongest growth by far among the G7 countries. Of these million jobs, most of them are full-time positions.
Helping Canadians remain active participants in the labour force is important to ensure the economy's continued growth.
Job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity remain our top priorities.