Mr. Speaker, the essence of Bill C-220 is to extend compassionate care leave by up to three weeks after the death of a loved one. That is very admirable. I have had an opportunity to have some discussions on this and to think about the legislation, and there are a couple of things that come to mind right away.
One is that over the last number of years in statements by the Prime Minister or other members of the House, there has been a desire to see ways that we can improve our employment insurance program and how we might continue to assist workers.
Throughout the whole coronavirus pandemic, we have heard a lot about getting a better understanding of what works well. One of the things that came up is the idea that when we start getting toward the end of the pandemic and can see that light, we should look at ways we can build back better. That is something that Bill C-220 could contribute to. I like the idea.
If the bill were allowed to go to committee, I believe that we would see some other ideas generated as a result of Bill C-220. Therefore, I am hoping that colleagues on all sides of the House would see this bill as a way we can improve the system, recognizing that compassionate care and the need to have that leave is absolutely critical. More and more family members provide care at a person's end of life, when people will spend days, weeks, and often months on the additional care necessary for a family member or loved one.
That is what I like about the bill: It wants to address the employment issue, which is very difficult. We get different types of relationships. I have always argued that life is about relationships, and some of those relationships are intense, particularly between family members. When a person passes away and their brother, sister, daughter or son goes back to work the following day, it can be fairly traumatic, so providing this sort of compassionate care leave is long overdue.
As for looking at ways to extend it, yes, there are things in place today, but we can do better. That is why I started my comments the way I did. We have been making gains over the last number of years in recognizing the need for reforming employment insurance and looking at ways we can support employees. This is one of the ways to do just that, so I look forward to the bill going to committee.
As a last thought, the pandemic has had such a profound impact on funerals and the passing of people we know. As parliamentarians we get to know a lot of people in our communities, and it is always sad when they pass. We look forward to a time when we can start to see people participate in funerals, families in particular, in a more wholesome way and not have to rely on the internet.