Mr. Speaker, part time workers, women for the most part, are penalized by the new employment insurance rules that require far too many hours of work for them to qualify. They will have to work 910 hours, or the equivalent of twenty-six 35-hour weeks.
Under the old legislation, anyone who worked 15 hours a week or more was covered, but now there are workers who, while paying premiums and theoretically being eligible for employment insurance, will in fact never qualify because the number of hours of work required is excessively high. Nor will they qualify for a rebate on their premiums. This is a grey area.
In a region like ours, in Beauce, requiring so many hours of work to qualify is tantamount to excluding part time workers from the program. I suggest that the legislation be made more flexible so that part time workers are not made poorer still.