Making Parliament Work. Maybe.

A rough account of Jack Layton’s statement to reporters after Question Period today.

There are now 1.6 million unemployed in Canada. And unfortunately throughout this coming winter many more Canadians will lose their jobs. Most economists agree that the job losses will continue until at least next spring. Those people need help.

I spent the summer visiting ridings across the country. I met many people who had lost their jobs. I heard their stories about how badly they need help. Many of them are coming to the end of their benefits and are going to end up on welfare. Those people are counting on us.

The announcement today appears to be a step in the right direction. There is much more to be done. More workers to help out.

Our preference remains fighting for the unemployed – not fighting a second election within the year. But make no mistake: we have no intention of giving this government a blank cheque, like Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals did.

We will be studying the bill and considering it very seriously. We will evaluate this initiative on its merits, and we’ll do the same with every anything else they bring forward.

Thank you.