Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague so much for that very important question.
Absolutely, I have been hearing from my constituents on this same issue of parental and maternity benefits as a result of COVID.
There is a group that has gathered. There are parents across this country who are grappling with this question. When we had our daily or almost daily briefing calls with various government departments, I consistently asked that question day in and day out, and I was given that same response: “We're working on it. We're looking for the solution.”
For me, this delay is quite disappointing. These people have been waiting. Some have already had their children and need to receive this benefit, so I was pleased this morning to hear the minister talk about retroactive pay, but that does not get people what they need in the interim. I am very concerned with how long this has taken, but I am also encouraged that finally we might see some action on this.
Here we are five months into the pandemic, and these parents have been waiting. Let us get money into the hands of parents now. Certainly, the retroactive payment is good to hear, but it is an issue that went on for far too long.