Mr. Brent St. Denis (Algoma—Manitoulin, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, let me say to my colleague whose motion we are debating today that we appreciate the opportunity to participate in the debate on the entire system of supporting workers, those who become unemployed from time to time or those who, because of their participation in seasonal work, become unemployed on a cyclical basis. They are all of importance to Canada and of concern to us.
I have the opportunity to be the chairman of the Prime Minister's task force on seasonal work, so I have a special interest in this matter, particularly in regard to the weeks and months ahead.
I would like to ask a question of my good friend across the way, because he has seasonal workers in his riding and I have them in my riding in northern Ontario. One of the things we hear consistently from our communities is that the current employment insurance system has built within it certain disincentives. We have heard from laid-off workers themselves that the system does not encourage them to take work, because if they do sometimes their benefits will go down for the next year. I know that my friend has heard that from his own constituents as I have heard it in my travels across the country. As well, there are certain provisions in the current system, which we will acknowledge is not a perfect system, that encourage the underground economy.
Does my colleague have some ideas that are not included in the list of recommendations we are debating today, ideas that will decrease disincentives and reduce the temptation of the underground economy?