Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his brilliant insight into this legislation. He helped the House understand just how dreadful a job the Minister is doing with this particular piece of legislation which is so important to all working people in this country. It represents, perhaps better than anything else we are dealing with, an indication of just how miserable the Government can be when it wants to be.
I would like to direct my comments and question to my hon. colleague on the question of the impact of this legislation for new Canadians.
Canada has, from one generation to the other, very generously welcomed newcomers and helped them adjust to the labour market. Newcomers typically receive the lowest paying jobs and are the most vulnerable to changing conditions from one season to the other. They often work in the oldest factories and the most run-down parts of our economy. That is where they get started. That is where they make their best efforts.
For example, I know that in the City of Winnipeg, in my own constituency, there are many people who find it difficult to maintain jobs in our declining economy. As the Speaker knows and as people in this House know, the City of Winnipeg is having a difficult time since the Conservatives took office five years ago in maintaining a strong economy. We are very concerned that newcomers in particular are going to have a difficult time maintaining themselves in the job market.
It seems to me that when you add weeks onto the number of weeks per year that you have to work and add conditions onto the accessibility to the Unemployment Insurance Act you decrease the social security we provide for new Canadians. Although nobody raises this issue in those terms, it is something that we should take into account.
As new Canadians adjust to this country, we find that they often need language training and upgrading of their skills. We have used community colleges, and in some provinces private institutions, to assist new Canadians in receiving the skills necessary to survive in a very tough job market.
I know that my colleague took a great deal of interest in the problems of young new Canadians in his previous life before he became a Member of Parliament. He understands the training issues very well. Perhaps he would like to share with us some of his observations of the negative impact when young people cannot get access to training through UlC-sponsored programs, and how they begin to play labour against business when money is taken out of training, how the lack of government participation in this programming can make
June 7, 1989
everyone more selfish. When people become more selfish they turn on newcomers, whether it be a province, a city, or a country, and increase pressure on them to look after themselves because they cannot look after them.
This legislation has many side effects which are very negative. That is one of the reasons my Party is committed to fighting it to the bitter end and to proposing as many constructive changes as possible to the legislation. We think it is harmful not only to current workers but to the future workforce. The more we can do as a Parliament working together to create better legislation, the better off we will be. For example, the desire for parliamentarians to travel across the country to reach out to Canadians to discuss this more fully is a need that is not being met. The fact that some Canadians have had to get on a train themselves-one of the last trains in the country-to meet other Canadians to discuss this, is an example of how impoverished the attitude of the Government is toward the unemployed.
My succinct question to my colleague is the following: What impact does he imagine this will have on new Canadians?
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT