Business of Supply

Madam Speaker, given that there has been so much reminiscing about a former colleague, Yvon Godin, I say it was good to see former colleague Jeff Watson, the former MP for Essex, who was in town last night. I know he mixed it up on occasion with my friend from Windsor West, but he was a tremendous advocate for working people, particularly in Windsor.

I agree with a couple of the comments by my colleague in the NDP. Certainly the stress of the waiting period and uncertainty related to EI is something that all members of Parliament hear in their offices from people, and if there is a problem, we all like to try to help people access the program.

Where I disagree and where it seems this opposition day motion is really missing the mark is that this program is an insurance program. As the member said, it is their money, but they have to pay into a program to then receive from it. A threshold of 360 hours ends up being only 45 days of work, and that would not be a positive incentive for an insurance program that is to be there for people when they lose a permanent job, people have paid into the insurance program for that purpose.

I would ask the member how it would help our economy and the sustainability of the EI program to have a threshold that is really far too low.

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