Hansard Blues – March 7, 2008

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the parliamentary secretary a question about the automotive industry.

The minister and the government have cut the eco-auto rebate program. This was the incentive program of $116 million, a disastrous program that did not have an effect on the positive influence to buy vehicles.

We have a transition in the auto industry which is an opportunity to get greener technologies. At the same time that the government is cutting this fund of $116 million it is going to keep the tax on of $50 million for the companies. It has rolled out a new program worth $50 million a year, but at the end of the day it has actually cut the automotive sector back by $8 million per year and it is continuing to keep the $50 million tax in place.

What is the government preparing to do, given that the United States is going to be instituting loan guarantees and a series of other initiatives to secure the new green auto industry?

The fact of the matter is that what we have shown is the government actually cut the $116 million, which the Minister of Finance did not roll over into initiatives, and it has only introduced a $250 million five year program that once again is going to be funded by a tax on the industry itself.