QUESTION PERIOD: Masse questions Industry Minister on Automotive
March 10th, 2009 - 7:21pm
Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, workers at General Motors are showing leadership, but after the unprecedented sacrifice auto workers made yesterday, the minister turns to them and says, “It is not enough”.
What is not good enough is that there is no national auto strategy, no protection for pensions, and we are just sitting by watching jobs go to Michigan and Mexico. That is what is not good enough.
When will the government admit that its inaction led us here and that it is time to do something substantial for a change?
Mr. Mike Lake (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, of course our Minister of Industry and our Prime Minister have been showing tremendous leadership on this file right from the start.
It was recognized in a comment made by industry expert Dennis Desrosiers the other day, when he said:
The finance minister and the industry minister have been brilliant in how they have handled this, going way back. They came out weeks ahead of the American government. They really deserve a lot of credit.
I am sure that in the follow-up question, the hon. member will be giving them some credit.
Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, how about some quotes from all those auto families who lost their jobs? Those are the real people that the member should be listening to.
If we had a national auto strategy like the Conservatives promised months ago, General Motors would be viable in Canada. We would not be crossing our fingers and hoping for the best. We would be taking the necessary leadership to ensure the long-term viability of the auto sector in Canada.
The CAW has shown that leadership. Now it is time for the minister to do the same.
On behalf of the workers and pensioners who have given so much, when will the government start to act and listen to them, and stop attacking the worker families who, by no fault of their own, have been thrown out of their jobs?
Mr. Mike Lake (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that everything in this budget was focused on helping those workers, helping their families, helping Canadians keep jobs.
I want to quote the NDP member for Hamilton Mountain, who on January 30, in this House, said, “Every single important piece the people in the community were looking for is mentioned”. She said that of the budget.
I want to ask the hon. member, why would his party vote against a budget that contained “every single important piece the people in the community were looking for”?