Mr. Guy St-Julien (Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a comment and ask a question. When the Bloc Quebecois member talks about employment insurance and such, he often forgets to give the real budgetary results to the taxpayers and voters of Canada. In order to know the results, we must have the numbers in front of us.
The newspapers keep saying that the Government of Canada has snatched $45 billion. That is completely wrong. When we look at the real numbers the minister tabled in the House last week, we read this:
With respect to employment insurance and expenditures on benefits, in 1980-81, there was a deficit of $682 million.
For a number of years, there were deficits in the EI fund. There were surpluses, as well. That is why I tabled a question in the House, published in today's Order Paper. I am asking what was done with the surpluses and who paid to offset the deficits.
One thing we know about this issue is that, in 1986, the Auditor General of Canada, Mr. Desautels, said that this was the way to do the accounting. The hon. member knows very well that there is no liquidity in this fund at this time. At present, there is about $43 billion in contributions, surpluses or excesses.
I would like to ask him if he read the minister's response tabled recently in this House to question Q-83, concerning the years of deficit. Even in Quebec, there have been deficits. Who has paid for these deficits? That is what I would like him to tell me: who paid to offset these deficits?
Topic: Government Orders
Subtopic: Budget Implementation Act, 2004