Mr. Speaker, my colleague and I work together on the industry committee. I know she shares the same goal that I do of creating jobs and having good income for Canadians. That is certainly the option that Canadians want above all.
However, with respect, I first have to say that the New Democrats have been in government in many provinces. We do intend to be in government come this October. We think that would be a very positive development for Canadians. New Democrat governments have the best record of balanced budgets of any political party, if we look at all levels of government in this country. Therefore, with respect, we have had to make difficult decisions and we look forward to doing so again.
However, to be clear, let me say this. This money did not belong to the government for it to take to balance the books. This was money given in good conscience by working people and employers for the purpose of insurance when those workers found themselves without a job. The fact that over 80% of workers used to be covered by EI and it has fallen to below 40% in this country, I think speaks to where that money went. It did not go into the pockets of unemployed workers where it should have gone.