House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was speech.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

I ask the hon. member to please withdraw that statement.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Yes. I recognize, Mr. Speaker, that is not an appropriate statement.

Gm Plant In Boisbriand
Oral Question Period

October 14th, 1999 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, whatever the Minister of Industry may say or do, he is not helping matters with his attitude and his remarks.

My question is for the Minister of Industry. Given his attitude, are we not totally justified in asking whether he does not intend to sacrifice the Boisbriand plant in favour of plants in Ontario, his home province?

Gm Plant In Boisbriand
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that question is totally strange, because, as I said, we worked with GM to save jobs at Boisbriand. In fact, another car model needs to be found for manufacture at Boisbriand.

I told him that significant investments have been made in the Canadian automobile industry in the past five or six years. There has never been a need for the federal government to invest because we are very competitive.

At Boisbriand, the employees are top quality and highly trained and could compete with—

Gm Plant In Boisbriand
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The member for Témiscamingue.

Gm Plant In Boisbriand
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, in its throne speech, the government mentions partnership a lot. We did not think there would be an example so soon. I would like the Prime Minister to say whether he does not consider the example and the attitude of his minister with regard Boisbriand do not reveal the essence of the word partnership. Is that what partnership means?

Gm Plant In Boisbriand
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the minister has handled this matter very well. As he explained earlier, he even organized and invited the authorities in Quebec to meet the president of GM in the States to make sure that, once the model they are currently making in Boisbriand disappears in a few years, the company will develop a new model.

He did a very good job, but, as he has said, the problem right now is that major changes are being made in the whole of the GM organization throughout North America, and Boisbriand is in competition with the others. Investments have been made in Canada, and at no time in the automobile industry in recent years have we—

Gm Plant In Boisbriand
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. leader of the Reform Party.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government's response to the western farm crisis is an absolute insult to western Canada. The realized net income for all farmers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan collectively will be down by 98% for the four year average. Does the Prime Minister understand that 98% means down from $916 million a year to $16 million?

The government's response to date has been pathetic: an aid program that does not work, an income stabilization program that does not work, and no high level attack on the European subsidies which are at the root of the problem.

When will the Prime Minister take some personal interest and show some personal leadership—

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing to see the Leader of the Opposition getting up when I read page 42 of the Reform program, the Reform taxpayers budget which calls for $640 million to be saved by downsizing the department of agriculture. It further calls for $690 million to be saved by cutting all regional sector specific funding to the department of agriculture.

That is what they say to gain votes. Now that we have put money on the table they just flip-flop completely and want us to spend money when—

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I would ask both the questioners and those who answer to please keep their questions within 35 seconds.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister should have kept on reading from that statement because the next sentences talked about Reform's proposal for a trade distortion program that would have solved this problem.

Incidentally the member who proposed that program is now just about five seats away from becoming the premier of Saskatchewan. This is not just about statistics. This is not a statistical problem. It is families that are suffering not just the loss of their livelihoods but their farms—

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

If the Prime Minister wants to address himself to the preamble, I would invite him to do so.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will reply in 90 seconds and not in 90 minutes. Before the last budget the government put $900 million on the table and the provinces put $600 million directed toward this problem.

Why does the Reform Party complain all the time when we spend money? Now he wants to cut money and have a new program. He cannot have it that way.