Masse Questions Minister Emerson on Auto Policy

International Trade

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, the government is ignoring a crisis in the manufacturing sector.

Despite thousands of jobs being lost in Ontario and Quebec, the current Minister of International Trade is pursuing a Korea trade deal that will see more lost jobs in Windsor, Oshawa, St. Catharines, Dorval and Montreal, with specific impacts on the auto sector.

I would like to know from the minister, while he was a Liberal, he flip-flopped and did not table an auto policy like he said he would. Did he leave it behind in his desk? Did he lose it on the floor? Or, is it true that the current Minister of Industry killed that, just like he killed his aerospace file?

Hon. David Emerson (Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, we continue to have discussions on trade issues with Korea and with a number of other countries.

The government recognizes that it has been five years since the Government of Canada entered into a bilateral free trade agreement. It is time we started to get our trade act together, and that is what we are doing.

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, the minister started the softwood sellout file as a Liberal and he finished it as a Conservative. My fear is that he is going to hang the auto industry out the same way.

Why is it we are watching mills close, textile factories close, auto parts companies close, and other types of manufacturing in this country disappear? Where is the plan from the Minister of Industry? Did he kill the plan, or is he going to table one? For a change, we want action, not just words.

Hon. Maxime Bernier (Minister of Industry, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, as everybody knows, it is the mark of this government to act, so yes, we will act. I am going to have consultations with the automobile sector this week. Tomorrow I am going to be in Toronto and we are going to have consultations. We are going to listen and we will act.

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