In Debate: Creating Jobs & Childcare Spaces

Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP):  

    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to employment insurance, it looks like the arrival of a new minister does not herald a new approach. First the Conservatives imposed harsh restrictions on employment insurance, and now they are telling departmental officials to make it harder for unemployed workers to get the benefits they are entitled to. Officials who are a little too helpful are getting slapped on the wrist. That makes no sense.

    Instead of attacking unemployed workers and public servants, why do the Conservatives not attack unemployment by creating jobs?

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Democratic Reform, CPC):  

    Mr. Speaker, my predecessor worked to eliminate wait times for benefits. He succeeded. Currently, over half of the people receive their benefits in less than 28 days.

    We are also working to create more jobs by lowering taxes. We are trying to put more money in the pockets of businesses and individuals to promote economic activity and create opportunities for people to work.

 

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):  

    Mr. Speaker, in December 2004, the member for Nepean—Carleton told the House that it was “...not politicians, who create jobs”. It is an odd statement, given he is now the jobs minister.

    Fewer than four in 10 unemployed Canadians are now getting benefits, and now he has been given this new responsibility. What will the minister do to fix EI so that it actually works for unemployed Canadians, or is that somebody else's job?

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Democratic Reform, CPC):  

    Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member illustrates the distinction between the two sides of the House. On that side, they believe in increasing taxes, increasing the burden on families and employers so that politicians and bureaucrats can hoard all the money for themselves.

    On this side of the House, we believe in reducing taxes, which has created 1.2 million net new jobs. We have lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty, including during the recession, and Canadians are better off. Our job record is the best out of all the G7 countries. Low taxes work.

 

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):  

    Mr. Speaker, what nonsense. From job losses to EI to their failure to create child care spaces—

 

    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

The Speaker:  

    Order. The hon. member for London—Fanshawe has the floor. Members need to come to order.

 

Ms. Irene Mathyssen:  

    Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am glad you reminded them of their manners.

    From job losses to EI to their failure to create child care spaces, Conservative economic mismanagement is hurting ordinary Canadians. Labour force participation is at a 15-year low, and people like Jillanne Mignon, who wants to work but cannot afford the high cost of child care, are out of luck.

    Why will the Conservatives not adopt the NDP leader's plan for affordable child care and ensure that all parents who want to work are given the opportunity to work?