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Results: 1 - 15 of 63560
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-03-25 3:39 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, my question is for the Minister of Finance.
We know that in the last week alone nearly a million Canadians applied for EI. Canadians are faced with an impossible choice: Do they stay home and help prevent the spread of an illness but risk not being able to pay their rent or put food on the table or do they go to work and risk the spread of the illness to their loved ones and themselves? People cannot wait until April or May for help. They need help immediately. There are many workers now who are in the gig economy, freelance and contract workers who need immediate supports.
Will the Minister of Finance consider our proposal to send, while we are in this crisis, $2,000 to each Canadian monthly and an additional $250 for each child? This form of universal basic income would provide direct support to Canadians who desperately need it.
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-03-25 3:41 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, I have spoken to indigenous leaders across the country. They are highlighting some serious concerns they have. Because of historic and ongoing injustices, indigenous communities have inadequate access to clean drinking water, housing, and health care services. As a result, leaders are concerned their communities will not be able to deal with COVID-19 if they are exposed and it starts to spread. They are concerned about the lack of resources, equipment and supplies.
What is the plan to ensure that indigenous communities get the supports they need? I also want to make it clear that isolation tents are not going to cut it. What is the plan to help indigenous communities in this crisis?
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-03-25 3:43 [p.2071]
Madam Chair, one of the big concerns we have is that while we are dealing with the immediate crisis of COVID-19 and the immediate impacts on society, we also need to make sure that we have a plan once this immediate health care issue is dealt with and we look at the recovery.
People need to know that they will have a job to return to. A lot of small businesses are struggling right now with the impacts of COVID-19. What I am suggesting to the government is that we need to increase the wage subsidy. Right now the government is proposing 10%. We are suggesting that what is needed is at least a 75% wage subsidy or more. Will the government commit to increasing the wage subsidy to at least 75% to help small businesses and ensure that workers have a job to return to?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Employment.
Applications for regular EI have overwhelmed the system and no one can get hold of Service Canada to apply. With a whole new benefit, how will the caseload be managed to ensure that people can apply and how are staff resources being redirected to support Canadians?
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
2020-03-25 3:45 [p.2072]
Madam Chair, we have intentionally created this new benefit separate from the EI system so that we can continue to process claims that were filed before March 15, and we can continue to process claims for other benefits, like maternity and parental benefits, since March 15. Any claim that has been filed since March 15 will be channelled into this new Canada emergency response benefit, and any EI claim that is filed between now and when this new application for this benefit arises will be also channelled into the new benefit.
I can assure members that we have redirected every single possible resource to Service Canada. I do not have the exact number, but I think it is about 1,300 people who have been redirected to work on processing these claims and answering these questions. We have had an enormous volume of EI claims. We have had an enormous number of questions to Service Canada. We are doing our utmost to answer them and respond as quickly as possible.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, many people who are about to go on parental leave have been laid off and have had to start EI, which will reduce the time that they can be on parental leave. Will their leave be extended to ensure that they can take their planned time with their new child?
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
2020-03-25 3:46 [p.2072]
Madam Chair, any EI entitlement that a worker currently has will not in any way be impacted by the new Canada emergency response benefit. Whatever someone is entitled to now he or she will be entitled to after the 16 weeks.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, last Friday the government announced temporary foreign workers already here would be extended from one year to two, and in certain industries it will be easier and faster to bring in a temporary foreign worker. We see in this legislation tonight, under the definition of “worker”, it says “resident of Canada”.
Does this new benefit apply to citizens and permanent residents or to anyone who lives here, such as those on a work visa?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, we are looking for clarity. Will people who here as temporary foreign workers who lose their jobs be able to apply for this benefit, yes or no?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Chair, this bill states that one would not be eligible if one received employment insurance after one's employment ceased. Will a fisher or someone in the tourism and hospitality industries who was laid off last year, received EI and has now exhausted it, and the job that person expected to have this summer is gone due to COVID-19, be eligible for this benefit?
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
2020-03-25 3:49 [p.2072]
Madam Chair, given the member's fact pattern, if that individual met the eligibility of 15 years of age, earned $5,000 in the past year and was a resident of Canada, I believe, to the best of my knowledge, yes.
View Rachel Blaney Profile
NDP (BC)
Madam Chair, I am happy that we are here in the House. It is late and it has been a long day, but I know that Canadians across this country are looking for action, so I am glad that we are here getting this important step done.
One of the concerns I want to bring to the House today is that there are people who are ineligible for the supports. They do not qualify for EI or the emergency support benefit. I am talking about folks like travel agents who earn commissions. They will continue working unpaid as people are cancelling all of their vacations right now, which means their commissions are being returned. Also, there are people who rely on tips for their income who will now barely see 30% of their income. There are people who are facing reduced work hours and income but are still working to support Canadians and do not have enough to pay their everyday living expenses.
I would like to hear from the government how those people are going to be supported through this crisis.
View Rachel Blaney Profile
NDP (BC)
Madam Chair, another group of people I am very concerned about during this process is Canadian seniors. The reality is that they are the most vulnerable of all of us. We want to protect them and see them safe through this trying time.
Many seniors across this country are doing their best to follow all public health guidelines. They are trying to stay safe and in their homes, but this means for many of them having things delivered, and paying extra costs for delivery, and looking at people to do tasks for them that they can no longer do for themselves. Many seniors are on a fixed income. They often are close to the poverty line. I am wondering if there is any way that we are going to see seniors supported in this time.
View Rachel Blaney Profile
NDP (BC)
Madam Chair, another serious concern that I have across this country is the issue of housing.
We know that many people are facing significant vulnerability in housing, and we are hearing that not everybody is being allowed by the banks to defer their mortgage for six months. Deferrals will still accrue interest, and some banks are actually saying that the amount due will have to be paid in a lump sum at the end of the deferral period, all while people are unable to work or sustain the income that they had before. Other jurisdictions have already said that there will be blanket freezes on all mortgages, with no accrued interest or lump sum payments. This is happening in other countries. I am really curious as well about what kinds of resources there will be for people who are renting.
These issues are continuing to grow. I would like to know if the minister will mandate a freeze on all mortgages and find supports for rental housing.
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2020-03-25 5:02 [p.2084]
Mr. Speaker, we all acknowledge that the COVID-19 crisis is going to put a lot of Canadians in a difficult position, particularly when it comes to housing. The government suggested that voluntary measures on the part of banks to defer mortgages is good enough. Does the member agree with the government that this is going to be good enough?
We believe that we need to go further and mandate that mortgages be paused and that there be a break on rent to ensure that people are not evicted during this crisis.
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