Jack Layton today in the Foyer of the House of Commons:
I, I have a statement to make.
There are now 1.6 million Canadians unemployed. And unfortunately, throughout this coming winter, many more Canadians are going to lose their jobs. Most economists agree that the job losses will continue at least until next spring. These people need help. I spent the summer visiting many communities all across the country and met many people who had lost their jobs. I heard their stories and have, how much they need our help right now and they made a very direct appeal to me, to our party and I think to all parliamentarians. Many of them are coming to the end of their benefits and they face falling off assistance from EI and having to turn to welfare. Those people are counting on us right now.
The announcement today appears to be a step in the right direction. There is much more that needs to be done as well. Our preference remains fighting for the unemployed rather than fighting for a second election. But make no mistake about it, we have no intention of giving this government a blank cheque, like Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals did. We'll be studying the bill and considering it very, very carefully. We will evaluate this initiative on its merits and we'll do the same with everything else that is brought forward and we'll push for action. Thank you.