Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to present a petition calling on the government to ensure universal access to employment insurance.
I would like to point out that only 35% of unemployed women are eligible for regular EI benefits compared to 52% of unemployed men. That is a grave inequity.
The petitioners, most of whom are from eastern Quebec and the North Shore, would like the government to enhance the current system and ensure universal access to it by lowering the EI eligibility threshold to 350 hours or 13 weeks, by establishing a minimum threshold of 35 weeks of benefits and by increasing the benefit rate to 70% of salary based on the best 12 weeks of salary. The petitioners make other suggestions too.
I am pleased to present this petition on their behalf.