Masse in the House on the Lack of Auto & Manufacturing Money in Budget 2008

HANSARD BLUES – February 28, 2008

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Conservative agenda, supported by the Liberals, is making the wrong choices for the automotive industry.

The budget is cutting overall spending by 14% per year. There will be a $40 million cut after five years alone.

There is nothing in there for parts suppliers nor for tool and die and mould making. There is no plan on auto policy and there is nothing there for trade to open up markets.
Why has the government abandoned the automotive workers of Ontario and misled the public?

Will the Minister of Finance explain why he is cutting funding to the automotive industry when workers, employers and the communities that are supported by the auto industry are demanding intervention?

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): It is apparent, Mr. Speaker, that the hon. member did not listen to the budget.

There is $250 million for green technologies; auto innovation fund, already a commitment of $400 million for the access road for Windsor-Detroit; $34 million for research and more than that, more than $1 billion in tax relief for the automotive sector, which is coming into play this year, 2008.

That is a healthy total benefit package for the automotive industry of in excess of $1.6 billion.