MASSE ON AUTO, MANUFACTURING, & BUDGET BILL

39:2 Hansard - 27 (2007/11/29)

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, I will follow up with a question on manufacturing. When the Minister of Finance answered a question in the House, he talked about the capital cost reduction allowance. The government has only moved on two years of the recommendation of the industry committee, of which I was a part. This is a very grievous situation. It should have been five years. Many companies have already made decisions about their original capital purchasing. They will benefit from that, which is fine.

We wanted to get the third, fourth and fifth year investments. After that, there was to be a review for a potential extension of five years. This would send a strong message. An important distinction is the equipment would get on the plant floors in the manufacturing sector of Ontario and Quebec and the rest of the country because of the capital stay, as opposed to a general corporate tax cut where that money could move offshore, as it has been doing historically.

What does my colleague think of the fact that the minister has completely disregarded this aspect, which hurts the investment strategies that need to be made today to protect jobs?

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, it takes a lot of nerve to come into the chamber as a Liberal, cast aspersions on the budget, claim that Liberals have all the solutions which they are willing to follow through on, but they will not vote to stop what is happening.

To an auto worker who is out of a job right now, to someone in the tourism sector who is out of a job right now, or to someone who cannot get the proper child care right now, none of that matters because the member and his party refuse to vote in the chamber.

What is really interesting about this situation is that before we even started to debate the issue, the Liberal Party ran up the white flag and did not even negotiate some changes to this budget, which historically has been done. The Liberals rolled over on their own behalf and against the issues they said they were going to support.

The Liberals finally came forward in support of an analysis of and to take a close look at the South Korea trade deal, something the member who crossed over to the Liberals is bringing forward right now, but at the same time they are not going to stand up today.

I would ask the member directly, why will you not vote? If you really believe you have the solution for the automotive industry and all the different things that you are claiming, why do you not vote now?

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague a question about our manufacturing sector and to get his party's input on it.

The auto parts association has made a desperate call for assistance and funding on account of the high Canadian dollar. The dollar's rapid rise has affected the manufacturing base, not only in terms of autos but also the lumber industry and other types of manufacturing in Quebec and Ontario.

There used to be a technology partnership program to assist the auto industry and the aerospace industry. The aerospace program has been reinstated, but to date the auto industry program has not been reinstated. Our party is calling for that program to be brought back again, especially as a result of the appeal from the auto parts sector. There are thousands of jobs that are on the line today. We want to see this happen. I hope my colleague's party will support our call.

My colleague and his party have been strong advocates on the industry committee with myself and others for an industrial strategy supporting the manufacturing base in general. Would the member tell us more about his party's plans? The NDP has been calling for the five year capital cost reduction allowance that was proposed with the possible five year extension.

Will his party support the call of the auto parts manufacturers because of their current problem with the rising dollar? What other measures does he suggest to protect manufacturing jobs in Quebec, Ontario and the rest of Canada?