Mr. Speaker, I represent a riding and a region where the unemployment rate is especially worrisome, so when a debate about employability measures gets under way in the House, you had better believe I will be here. However, there is something bothering me this morning about both the Conservatives' and the Liberals' approach, and that is the feeling I have of witnessing a swarm of bees that have just found a source of sugar.
Not only did these two parties hijack $57 billion in employment insurance contributions over the years, but now that there is a surplus in the employment insurance fund, they want to do exactly the same thing and steal another $550 million.
The real question is: why is there a surplus in the employment insurance fund? The answer is pretty simple: fewer than four in ten workers who contribute to the fund do not qualify when they need employment insurance. The surplus might actually be smaller if the money had been used for the purpose it was contributed for.
That does not stop us from taking a look at job creation measures. If the job creation measure my colleague proposed is really effective, should the money for it not come from the government's general revenue fund instead of the employment insurance fund, which should be able to continue providing the services it is supposed to provide?