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Results: 1 - 15 of 409
View Rachel Bendayan Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Rachel Bendayan Profile
2020-10-22 15:08 [p.1122]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the motion moved by my colleague from Calgary Nose Hill, for whom I have great respect.
Committee work is essential to the proper functioning of our parliamentary system and our democracy. As the last parliamentary session drew to a close, I was able to participate in the Standing Committee on Finance's examination of the last budget of the 42nd Parliament. I was also a member of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. We worked very hard to adopt a number of extremely important reports.
I firmly believe in the role of parliamentary committees and I also believe that the motion before us deals with a subject that warrants the attention of the Standing Committee on Health. However, I must admit that I have some concerns and reservations about the details of this motion, which I could almost describe as an omnibus motion, since it contains 28 clauses.
As the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, I make a point of looking at every proposal, every motion, including the motion that is before us today, from the perspective of our business owners, of our SMEs.
As the members here know, the motion lists 16 areas of study within 28 different clauses. As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, I will focus on the areas of the motion that I believe will impact our Canadian businesses, as well as areas of international procurement.
The motion proposes to study the availability of paid sick leave to those in quarantine and voluntary isolation. I believe this is an absolutely critical aspect of our government's response to COVID-19. We all know how important it is to continue to keep our businesses open and running, while protecting the health and safety of one another. We know that the balance between the two is certainly a hard one to manage.
The thinking behind the government’s proposal with respect to paid sick leave is rooted in the belief that nobody should have to choose between staying home because they have symptoms of COVID-19 and being able to pay for groceries or rent. That is why we introduced Bill C-4, which included the Canada recovery sickness benefit that provides $500 per week, for up to two weeks, to Canadians who are either experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, are in self-isolation because they have COVID-19 or have underlying conditions that would make them more susceptible to the virus.
As we all know, the bill received the unanimous support of the House and I believe it also passed royal assent within three days. This is an extremely good example of the speed and efficiency that is possible when we all work together.
The sick leave benefits that the motion proposes to study in committee fulfill the Government of Canada’s commitment under the safe restart agreement with provinces and territories. Already now, Canadians have been able to apply for the benefit since October 5, and as of this past Monday, October 12, Canadians who are not eligible for employment insurance have been able to apply for the Canada recovery benefit.
We know that right now our business owners cannot afford to pay for new benefits. We also know that Canadians were asking for this support. It was up to our government to respond. We will continue to respond to the needs of Canadians throughout this pandemic.
I would now like to approach the motion from the perspective of employers. We know that our workers and our businesses are facing a lot of uncertainty right now. There is not as much money coming in and our business owners cannot afford to provide additional benefits even if they wanted to.
The Canada recovery sickness benefit is there for employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick. The $500-a-week benefit for two weeks not only supports our workers, but it is also essential for our businesses.
We have all seen schools, offices and factories forced to close due to outbreaks of the virus. This benefit helps employers protect their teams without having to face the impossible decision of determining whether one of their employees is too sick to come to work.
The federal government is there for them and will cover two weeks of paid leave. This is a first for Canada. The program provides a win-win solution for our SMEs and our workers while also limiting community transmission of the virus.
I have to be honest. It is not clear, on the basis of the motion before the House, what aspect of paid sick leave is being proposed for study. The motion refers to the availability of sick leave, but as the House knows, this benefit has already been available to hard-working Canadians for two weeks now. It is therefore perhaps a bit late to study whether or not this measure should go forward, and as I have explained, I believe this program to be absolutely critical. I would assume, on the basis of the fact that the bill in which this measure was included was passed unanimously by the House, that every member of the House agreed with that.
If the motion is proposing to study how well the benefit is working, with only two weeks of usage I would suggest that it is perhaps premature to study its effect at this time. It might be more useful to study this issue independently in a stand-alone study once a longer period of usage exists and more data can be evaluated by committee members.
Let me now turn to another aspect of the motion that touches on international procurement, including the proposal in the motion to study the procurement of vaccines. While I understand the spirit of what is being proposed here, when I read the fine print of the motion, included therein is a requirement to disclose all documents concerning the purchase of these life-saving drugs. The motion would therefore effectively make us hand over details of our negotiating positions and considerations for deals that are not even yet complete.
I cannot emphasize enough how this would jeopardize our ability to compete and procure what Canadians need in order to survive this pandemic. If other countries find out the good prices that Canada was successful in negotiating with suppliers, they could try to buy the order out from under us. Let me detail this a little further.
We could be forced to reveal the pricing and sales terms we obtained in our international vaccine procurement process. This would expose us to two very serious potential problems.
If another country finds out our terms, it could decide to outbid us and hijack our order.
In addition, this information could undermine the Canadian government's credibility with our suppliers. The last thing we need right now is for our suppliers to decide that Canada is not a reliable partner and sign an agreement with another country that does not require them to disclose information about their terms and conditions. This is a real risk. There are quite a few other potential customers looking to procure these same vaccines.
The last thing I believe we want to do in the House is to endanger hard-fought procurement deals that will ensure that Canada has the best possible set of vaccine supply contracts. We need companies to feel confident that the Canadian government will remain a reliable partner and not look to publish reams of sensitive information regarding the company's pricing, conditions or scheduling.
We know there are real risks in this ultracompetitive bidding environment. It is a global pandemic impacting countries all over the world. The competition, therefore, on the international stage is incredibly fierce. We must continue to be competitive in our bids. We must continue to be a country that vaccine suppliers wish to partner with, and our priority must continue to be to ensure that Canada has access to vaccines against COVID-19.
These are just a few of of the problematic issues I see in the very large motion before us. I therefore cannot support the motion as it is currently written, and Canadians cannot afford to have us jeopardize our ability to procure a vaccine to COVID-19.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-10-05 18:13 [p.578]
Madam Speaker, it is always encouraging when MPs on both sides of the House are focused on the issue at hand, that being the pandemic, and coming up with ideas. I appreciate the fact that the NDP will be supporting the throne speech and the many fine initiatives within it. That is a very strong positive, and shows that even though we might disagree at times, we can come together in a time of need for Canadians.
We have introduced Bill C-4, which passed, that reinforced the importance of the CERB program being brought into EI and the wage subsidy program.
I wonder if the hon. member would provide some thoughts on that particular piece of legislation and how it complements the throne speech.
View Jenny Kwan Profile
View Jenny Kwan Profile
2020-10-05 18:14 [p.578]
Madam Speaker, Bill C-4 was a piece of legislation the government introduced, and it was flawed. It was the NDP who went to the table and worked hard to get the government to make the necessary changes to ensure that the amount of money for CERB was not cut to $400 per week, which the Liberals wanted to proceed with, but rather that it honoured the required amount, which is $2,000 a month or $500 a week. We pushed forward to ensure people could get sick leave, but even then, Bill C-4 is not a perfect piece of legislation. Much work needs to be done. The government could have easily made those programs permanent if it wished to, but it chose not to. That is what the NDP did.
With respect to the throne speech, it—
View Bruce Stanton Profile
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-10-02 13:03 [p.496]
Order. I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed Bill C-4, An Act relating to certain measures in response to COVID-19.
View Bruce Stanton Profile
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2020-10-02 13:06 [p.496]
I have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows:
October 2, 2020
Mr. Speaker,
I have the honour to inform you that the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bill listed in the Schedule to this letter on the 2nd day of October, 2020, at 12:08 p.m.
Yours sincerely,
Assunta Di Lorenzo
View Darrell Samson Profile
Lib. (NS)
Madam Speaker, I am delighted to be here today and to take part in the second session of the 43rd Parliament.
It is extremely important to be able to debate the throne speech, which, I believe, lays the foundation for success for the years ahead.
There is no question that we had to look at the areas faced with this pandemic to know how we could make sure Canadians were protected and safe. That was the most important thing. The second was how we could help them get through this pandemic, which is extremely important. The third was how we could make things better, because the turf underneath our feet has changed because of the pandemic. There are certain things we must look at and change, and others we must ensure we put forward as soon as possible. Then we have to look, as a country, at what the areas are where we can support more people and make Canada even greater, which is essential.
There is no question about protecting Canadians. Nova Scotia has done an outstanding job. Premier McNeil was outstanding in guiding us through the pandemic. At one point, he said, “stay the blazes home”, which went viral. I am sure members have heard that one already.
I also want to thank Dr. Strang, our chief medical officer, who guided our government through this. We were then able to work with Atlantic Canada, and I want to praise all of Atlantic Canada. Today, it is the safest bubble in North America. We have zero cases in three of the four provinces, and I think one active case in the other province, and we are tracking that. Atlantic Canada is the safest place in North America. That is impressive. As far as a bubble, we have done our part, and I hope we can learn from that experience.
How do we protect Canadians? We protect them with PPE. It is extremely important that we have the equipment and tools necessary to help Canadians. That is why our government moved forward quickly and asked businesses to come forward with ideas and to put forward proposals that would help find equipment that would help Canadians, including face masks, gowns and hand sanitizer. We all needed those things in this country because we knew globally it would be a challenge to get that equipment. We had over 1,000 companies come forward and many across this country. A company in my riding called Stanfield's produced over 300,000 gowns.
The next important thing is the vaccine. We have now invested and secured candidates to move forward and we have agreements with six countries. I am hopeful, as all members are, that we will find this vaccine for Canadians within the next six to 12 months, which would be extremely important.
How are Liberals helping Canadians through this pandemic? That is an extremely important question. The CERB is the first program we put out. Almost 9 million Canadians accessed the CERB. That is how important it was for us to come forward and help Canadians as quickly as possible.
We then moved into the Canada emergency wage subsidy, which provided 75% of workers' wages. In my riding, I spoke to the owner of Boondocks and he told me that he had laid off all his workers and then, shortly after we put the program out, he was able to bring them all back. That is why this was such an important program, as was the program to help businesses.
We were quick to support seniors because it is extremely important to do so. We used a top-up through GST. We then increased it by $300 tax-free for those on the OAS, along with an extra $200 tax-free for those on the GIS. I do not know if members know how much money that is, but in Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook it was $7.3 million. To multiply that by 338 MPs is approximately $2.5 billion to support seniors in this country. That is very impressive.
Initially I was doubtful that young people would have summer jobs. We were not sure how things would unfold, but companies stepped up and opened their doors again. The students went to work supporting their communities, the businesses and the organizations.
I spoke to the Lake & Shore Recreation Society in Forest Lake. Its representatives told me if they shut down, they would never have reopened if it had not been for student summer jobs. They were able to offer the summer camp once again, which is a very important program.
Another is our veterans. It is extremely important that we were able to support veterans quickly as well. We approved almost $200 million to move forward on the backlog, which was extremely important so veterans could get services they deserved. On top of that, we included in the veterans disability payment $600 and that cheque should come soon for disabled veterans, which is extremely important.
We have also added a question in the census to identify veterans. It has not been there for 51 years. How will we help veterans if we do not know who they are? That was extremely important. Yesterday, we passed Bill C-4, which allows for $20 million to help veterans through organizations that work closely with them on the ground, and that was extremely important as well.
We are moving forward on early learning and child care. We have been talking about it for years. It is essential. We have to get it so that both spouses who are work know that their kids have child care and early learning. Now with the pandemic, we need to accelerate that much faster.
Here is where building better is extremely important. Not only do we help move forward, but we also create other types of opportunities. Investing in the social sector is crucial. We are creating jobs and also systems that are necessary to move forward. Investment in housing to eliminate chronic homelessness is very important.
My colleague spoke about broadband. It is essential. We have seen the gaps. It became evident very quickly in this pandemic. If people do not have broadband and connectivity, they will not be able to contribute as much they should. If we want people in rural communities, we need to do that ASAP.
We also have to up our game in skilled workers. The throne speech announced the greatest investment ever in skilled workers and training. David Dodge, the former governor of the Bank of Canada, stated clearly that this was probably the most important thing we could do to support Canadians.
Health care needs universal pharmacare. We have talked about it and we will deliver it. We are moving it forward and we are going to begin negotiation with the provinces. There are a lot of them ready to go and they will be quick to the door to accept that challenge. This will show all Canadians, including the Conservatives, that it is doable.
We have also seen the gap in long-term care. That is why we are bringing forward national standards, which is crucial to ensure that seniors from one coast to the other will have the same services in health care.
The opposition leader gave a very good speech. For a while, I though he was describing the Liberal philosophy, but he never talked about climate change. It is real and he will have to add that to his next speech.
I also want to talk about what we will do for climate change. We will legislate net-zero emissions by 2050. We will exceed our 2030 targets. We will invest in green retrofits for businesses and clean energy funds. We have the Atlantic loop.
I am very proud of a business in my riding, which is a leader in open mapping. It received $361,000 to retrieve and dispose—
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2020-09-30 17:41 [p.366]
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord.
I am most pleased to speak on the throne speech. I do believe this throne speech, and the legislation and policy that will flow out of it, will put Canada on the right track going forward.
We are in a pandemic that seems to be gaining ground again. This is the time for leadership. The Prime Minister has shown leadership day after day. Contrary to what the Leader of the Opposition said, the Prime Minister and his government were in communication with all members of the House, and having meetings at night in conference calls with the bureaucracy. Everybody put in ideas, but the government showed that it was willing, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, to make changes that would improve policies for individuals, businesses, organizations, provinces and territories, day in and day out since the pandemic began.
The Prime Minister developed the programs. He worked with the provinces, and the provinces have congratulated the Prime Minister, time and again, on his willingness to work with them during this pandemic.
He has certainly shown leadership in terms of working with all Canadians. I heard the Leader of the Opposition say that he only wanted to work with some. No. The Prime Minister has worked with all Canadians, with all organizations and with all provinces. The Prime Minister is showing he is the leader that is needed in this time for this country to move forward. This is the direct opposite of what the Leader of the Opposition had to say.
This throne speech sets out a blueprint for where we need to go in the future. There really is no shortage of ideas. The purpose of a throne speech is to lay out the blueprint in the House of Commons and to have other ideas and criticisms come forward, certainly. I believe that, in the way that Parliament is structured, other ideas can come forward to improve on the blueprint that the government has laid out, although it is a very good blueprint.
The finance committee, in fact, heard hundreds of suggestions from Canadian organizations and individuals between April 3 and the end of June. I want to qualify that. This was a criticism that I do not believe was valid. I want to qualify that a key point made by witnesses before the finance committee is that, while future spending is essential, it must be done in a fiscally responsible way, and the Minister of Finance should certainly, at the earliest opportunity, lay out an economic growth plan. That is what witnesses were saying. I agree with that approach, and I think that would show Canadians how we are going to get there in terms of meeting the needs of the pandemic but also meeting the needs of the economy going forward.
Witnesses before the finance committee, and in my own riding and across Canada, spoke very favourably about several programs that will be continued as a result of the throne speech and the legislation flowing out of it.
The Canada emergency wage subsidy offered a 75% subsidy for businesses, and it will be extended right through to next summer. Although it is a wonderful program, I would note that it needs some tweaks. Many new businesses, start-ups, or expanding businesses that are buying out other businesses and therefore have different business account numbers with the CRA, do not qualify for the program. We have to fix that problem. Those businesses are important to our economy. They are the backbone of our economy, and we need them.
The second major program announced in the throne speech is the Canada emergency response benefit. It was very important to ensure that families had the funds to put food on the table, and had some security for their families, after jobs were lost as a result of COVID-19.
That program is rightly being rolled into an improved EI program, and is absolutely necessary, going forward. That is a commitment made by the Government of Canada in the throne speech. In fact, legislation has already been put in this House through Bill C-2 and Bill C-4 that ensures that the benefits of CERB will remain as we work to restart our economy.
For those in the tourism industry who were only able to find limited work this summer, the reduced hours, as announced, that will be required to gain EI is extremely important. The throne speech mentions it and legislation passed through here once on the Canada recovery benefit to support workers who are self-employed or not eligible for EI, the Canada recovery sickness benefit for workers who must self-isolate due to COVID-19, and the Canada recovery caregiving benefit for Canadians who must take care of a child and are unable to work. That is extremely important for people, moving forward, to help them out.
Another area we heard a lot of positive feedback and comments on is CEBA, the Canada emergency business account. The throne speech states:
This fall, in addition to extending the wage subsidy, the Government will take further steps to bridge vulnerable businesses to the other side of the pandemic by:
Expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account to help businesses with fixed costs;
Improving the Business Credit Availability Program;
And introducing further support for industries that have been the hardest hit, including travel and tourism, hospitality, and cultural industries like the performing arts.
It is important we do that, and we welcome that program, but I want to also put a slight caveat on CEBA. A number of us from all parties have been saying that the Canada emergency business account must allow personal accounts to qualify, not just business accounts. When I was farming I did not have a business account with a bank; I had a personal account and I was running about a $2-million operation. I can give an example of an individual in my riding. This construction guy with a $900,000 operation puts out three T4s and can show income tax going back years, but he does not qualify for CEBA. That is wrong. It should not just be through the bank business account. We had to fix that so that the people with a personal bank account qualify as well.
As an aside, there was the regional relief and recovery fund, established through the regional development agencies, that is basically the same as CEBA but is in the rural areas for businesses that may not qualify through the banks system. That program has run out of money. I am asking the Minister of Finance and the government as a whole to put some more funds into that RRRF so that people who actually deal with those agencies can qualify. That needs to happen.
I understand time is running down for my remarks, but I want to say I am looking forward to the work of the Government of Canada in accelerating the universal broadband funding. This is critical. We have seen through the pandemic that it needs to be done.
I am encouraged by what the throne speech said about the Atlantic loop in terms of energy between Atlantic Canada and Quebec, and how that may flow throughout the system.
We really used Canadian resources to help Canadians and build Canadian industries. I am really pleased on the environmental side that the throne speech outlines a number of opportunities for retrofitting homes and businesses, and more.
We have learned through this pandemic that we have to supply ourselves locally, and we need to move forward on that as well.
View Darrell Samson Profile
Lib. (NS)
Madam Speaker, veterans' issues are of the upmost importance to our government. Like other departments, Veterans Affairs was quick to adapt to the pandemic to ensure that veterans and their families would keep receiving the services and benefits they count on.
For months, the minister actively consulted Veterans Affairs representatives through the ministerial advisory panel. He also spoke to many veterans about how they and their families were managing during the pandemic and the support that the department could provide. Since the beginning of this crisis, Veterans Affairs Canada has made many changes to ensure that veterans can access the support they need.
Coverage has been extended to include telehealth and virtual health services, which has allowed veterans to gain or maintain access to mental health treatments, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and other treatments, while respecting social distancing measures. The need for renewed prescriptions required to obtain health care services was temporarily waived and the cost of personal protective equipment needed to receive treatment can now be reimbursed.
Throughout the pandemic, our message to veterans did not change, and indeed it was the same as before: We are there for those who did so much for Canada.
In fact, we have now delivered over half a billion dollars in benefits directly to veterans since the pandemic began.
This includes continuing our efforts to reduce delays and manage the volume of applications for disability benefits. In June, we presented a strategy to reduce wait times for veterans. This strategy includes transforming how teams are organized, making better use of technology and streamlining the process by eliminating certain steps.
I am very proud that we recently invested nearly $200 million in additional funding to speed up and support the disability decision-making process. The PBO's report shows that the new hires made as part of this investment will have a significant impact on reducing the backlog, but it does not take into account the many steps that Veterans Affairs has taken to make this process even faster and more efficient. These steps include streamlining the decision-making process on benefits and programs so that less complex cases can now take less time. Claims for disability benefits are also now being triaged so that the department can expedite applications for those of higher risk. Of course, there is the hiring of hundreds of new employees, including case workers and other workers, directly to support veterans to process disability applications and to administer pension-for-life benefits, which came into effect on April 1.
I want to point out that Bill C-4 provides $20 million for these organizations that support veterans.
As a result, during this pandemic, Canadian Forces and RCMP veterans and their families continue to receive the assistance they need while VAC continues to take the steps needed to reduce the wait time.
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Pablo Rodriguez Profile
2020-09-29 12:17 [p.237]
Mr. Speaker in relation to the consideration of Government Business No. 1, I move:
That the debate be not further adjourned.
View Gérard Deltell Profile
View Gérard Deltell Profile
2020-09-29 12:22 [p.237]
Mr. Speaker, the cat has been let out of the bag. Are we surprised? Unfortunately, no because for months now it has been clear that the government does not like parliamentary debates.
The government is doing everything it can to stifle the work of MPs, who are here to hold it accountable. At a time when the Prime Minister was caught up in the WE scandal and parliamentarians were doing thorough and serious work in parliamentary committee, the Prime Minister decided to prorogue the House for six weeks, shutting down parliamentary work. That happened in the middle of summer.
Knowing full well that there were sunset clauses on financial commitments that are due to expire on September 30, the government was in a position to continue on if it wanted, while showing respect for democratic debate and parliamentarians. But no, the government decided to deliver an inaugural speech last week, barely a week before the deadline. It informed us that the plan to deal with these commitments would be debated over two days.
We were prepared to meet last Sunday to sit in committee of the whole. Four ministers would have had a great opportunity to testify and explain themselves. The government refused. Worse yet, it wants to put a four-hour limit on the debate on spending, which could reach $50 billion.
Why is the government limiting members' speaking time during extremely important debates?
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
2020-09-29 12:22 [p.237]
Mr. Speaker, we told Canadians over a month ago of our plan to transition from the CERB to EI.
We talked about the changes made to the system that would allow more people to transition to EI. We said we were going to create three new benefits, namely, the Canada recovery benefit, the Canada recovery sickness benefit and the Canada recovery caregiving benefit. We also explained the details of those three benefits.
We worked very closely with public servants to make sure that the transition to EI would happen without any interruption to Canadians' benefits. It was very important to us that we continue our work behind the scenes, in co-operation with officials from the Department of National Revenue and Employment and Social Development Canada, who are working very hard for Canadians.
Quite frankly, there should be no big surprises here. We shared all the details of our plan over a month ago. I hope everyone will be happy with this. It is very important that these benefits get paid out so that workers—
View Mario Simard Profile
View Mario Simard Profile
2020-09-29 12:23 [p.238]
Mr. Speaker, some may find it puzzling that debate needs to be limited because of the urgency of the situation, especially since Parliament was prorogued for six weeks. Before then, the Liberals did not believe the situation to be urgent.
During a pandemic, we must apply a rather simple principle, the precautionary principle. We must act in the initial stages to prevent problems from occurring later on. Clearly, the government did not do that. The leader of my party stated some time ago that the government perhaps did not have the focus to manage the current crisis. The Prime Minister was mired in the WE scandal. We suggested that the Deputy Prime Minister take the reins. That might have prevented a six-week prorogation. Today, we might be at a different point and we might be discussing the recovery plan.
I am struck by the fact that when my Liberal colleagues speak about collaboration, I sometimes think that they are confusing their own interests with those of the general public. Collaboration means working with the other parties, and not putting one's interests before the interests of Canadians. I would like to hear what one of my Liberal colleagues has to say about that.
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
2020-09-29 12:25 [p.238]
Mr. Speaker, we have been working together for a long time to help Canadians during this pandemic. It truly is an emergency. We all agree on that.
My government colleagues and I are listening to the opposition parties. We are aware of their concerns about the CERB and we understand what they wanted in this bill. When we created the new benefits, we tried to include what all the opposition parties wanted to see in there.
We do not want to discourage people from working. We want to be sure that there are integrity measures in place. We want to be sure that people are looking for work and that they accept employment when it is offered to them.
The three benefits really reflect that.
View Brian Masse Profile
View Brian Masse Profile
2020-09-29 12:26 [p.238]
Mr. Speaker, I am glad the minister mentioned fraud. Before prorogation, the industry committee had a motion from the NDP, which was was supported by all parties, including hers. It is a really good report on fraud and I hope we get that released in the House of Commons. We will need unanimous consent and I hope that happens.
Specifically on supplementary employment benefits, the minister and her colleague know that many people might have their CERB clawed back or be punished by employer incentive programs that were negotiated, which might increase their benefits over that amount.
I would like to hear from the minister what she is doing about that to ensure the sub-benefits, as she has been made aware of several times, do not affect workers. Their benefits should not be clawed back and they should be made ineligible for some of the benefit programs that have been rolled out. Could she please update the House?
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
2020-09-29 12:27 [p.238]
Mr. Speaker, I certainly can. In fact, I can advise the House that we are working with every employer that has a sub-plan to ensure that it is as seamless as possible, working with individual employees, and that nobody is put in a situation that is untenable, given their individual circumstances. This is an excellent example of the changes that one will see in the new benefits.
In transitioning so many people to EI, we are back to a system where sub-plans are in place. We are back to a system where people can seamlessly be on both EI and earn an income. It is an excellent example of why we and officials have been working so hard to transition people back to EI.
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