House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industries.

Topics

Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, the members of the Conservative Party will be voting yes on this motion.

Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, members of the Bloc Québécois vote against this motion.

Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, members of the NDP vote against this motion.

Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Independent

Carolyn Parrish Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to vote yes.

Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to have my vote recorded as no.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

It being 6:16 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper.

Textile and Clothing Industries
Private Members' Business

June 1st, 2005 / 6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

moved:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should establish, in compliance with international agreements, a policy of assistance to the textile and clothing industries in order to enable the industries to compete throughout the world, particularly by broadening the Technology Partnerships Canada program to include these two sectors.

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be able to put my motion before the House today for debate. Incidentally, it should be improved through an amendment that will be put forward shortly.

We know that, after the plants closed in Huntingdon in December, the federal government introduced—at the eleventh hour—an assistance plan for the textile industry. But this was an incomplete plan containing a few measures which have failed to produce the desired results, as evidenced by the 4,000 jobs lost in that industry in Canada since January 2005. Had the federal government taken appropriate action, we could go back on the offensive, go ahead and allow the textile and clothing industries to achieve interesting results. These two industries have an interesting future ahead of them, if they are looked after properly.

When I presented this motion this afternoon to a press conference, I was pleased to have the support of the likes of Ms. Aristéo, the director of the Québec council of the Unis-Unite Here union and vice-president of the FTQ, Atim Leon-Germain, a project officer at the Centre international de solidarité ouvrière, and, through a press release, Émilie Guindi, the director of the Quebec Clothing Contractors' Association, not to mention the representatives of the Canadian Textiles Institute who attended the conference. They did not necessarily support the motion in its entirety, but they wanted certain elements of the motion to be implemented as soon as possible.

The first thing that has to be pointed out is that Canada's textile and clothing industries are two industries that primarily need a reliable market. Their market completely changed after the international agreements ensuring some degree of protectionism within each country expired. Since January 2005, we have been operating in a context of almost complete international free trade. We must face the new reality: Chinese imports flooding our market, competition from other countries, and a closed American market for the past few years.

We must be able to implement measures that will allow us to improve market access. The first measure that our integrated plan proposes is to allow clothing made abroad with Canadian textiles to enter duty free. Unbelievable as it is, currently, when clothing is made abroad with Canadian textiles and re-enters the country, manufacturers must pay duties on this product. Yet we know that these products are made with Canadian textiles. This duty should no longer be applied. This would make it possible to create jobs in the textile industry without cutting jobs in the clothing industry, since the clothing is being made abroad. This is the first measure to revive the textile market.

Second, our plan proposes to impose stricter rules of origin on least developed countries. Let us remember that, a few years ago, we said we wanted to facilitate economic development in least developed countries by allowing them to enter our markets without paying duties. However, we opened the door very wide. Consequently, today, not only products from very poor countries that only do a small part of the work on the clothing imported to Canada, but also products from all the other countries where another part of the clothing was made are duty free. Today, it is often the case that clothing goes through three or four processes in as many different countries. The least economically developed countries are being used as a gateway to the Canadian market. In doing so, we create unfair competition for domestic products. This is the second way of opening the market.

As a third measure, as allowed under China's WTO accession protocol, we want to impose quotas on Chinese imports. This is not a protectionist measure in the long term, but a measure that is provided for in the agreement under which China acceded to the WTO. The Chinese were very firm in negotiating this agreement. They gained a number of advantages, but so did we, particularly with regard to access to their markets. Certain measures have been put in place to ensure protection in case of a large increase in Chinese imports. Since January, Chinese imports into Canada have increased by 29%.

It is a real phenomenon which must be contained. We must find a way of managing this situation to minimize its negative effects on our industry.

Indeed, of the 4,000 jobs that have disappeared since January, a certain number were lost because of these imports. The message for the coming months and the coming years is that there are currently no government regulations to minimize the impact of these Chinese imports. We need time to adjust. There is a means of doing that, which the Europeans and the Americans have considered using. In Canada, we have not heard about any plans to use it, at least not for now. Again, it is a way to secure a market.

The textile and clothing industries are not a thing of the past. They are today's and tomorrow's industries and deserve our help in securing markets.

The stakeholders in these industries have been asking us regularly for the opportunity to gain access to markets and saying that they will have the competitiveness, the originality and the creativity needed to penetrate these markets. That is the purpose behind the measures included in the comprehensive plan that I am submitting to the House of Commons for adoption.

Last December, the Liberal government announced three measures. However, they fall far short of systematically reviving the two sectors and, more importantly, assuring them the kind of future we want them to have.

Another measure was then proposed by the Centre international de solidarité ouvrière. It involves requiring detailed labelling that would allow consumers to identify the source of the product they are buying. Consumers end up voting when they made a purchase. They can decide to promote the economy of Quebec or Canada over that of somewhere else. To do so, they need to know what they have before them and where and from what it was made.

When consumers buy wine, they know just about exactly where it comes from: from France, the region, the department and so on. This information is not available for clothing. I have even heard the following explanation. At the moment, the labelling on a suit such as I am wearing includes the words “Made in Canada” but, while the suit is made in Canada, there is no way of knowing where the material comes from. Was Canadian material used in fact? This type of information does not force consumers to buy that item of clothing, but it does indicate that by doing so they will be helping the Quebec or Canadian economy.

This, then, is one of the measures we consider important in the plan we are proposing.

The other type of measure is aimed at continued modernization of the textile and clothing sectors, which could stimulate research and development as well as design. I know there have been pilot projects in this sector, but they should be expanded and more help should be provided.

They say Montreal is a special place because both design and manufacture take place there. This advantage should be enhanced, move forward and provide additional benefits. The federal government has invested heavily in the new economy in the past 10 or 15 years. Now, with the new rules of international trade, traditional sectors deserve the same sort of assistance. We have seen it in the automobile and aeronautics industries in the Montreal area. We would like to see this kind of help in these sectors too.

We would also like to negotiate Canada's accession to the agreements reached between the United States and Central American and Caribbean countries. To me, that is perhaps the most important stipulation to expanding markets. From the time free trade was passed in 2000, there was amazing growth in the textile sector as a result of having access to the U.S. market.

Around 2000, the Americans passed laws and reached agreements with Caribbean countries. Now, American textiles, which are used to make clothing in the Caribbean, can re-enter the U.S. market, which is not the case if the product does not contain any American fabrics.

This immediately closed a major part of the market to Canada's textiles, which practically goes against the free trade agreement. This may not be done according to the letter, but in practice a market that was once open is now closed, to the benefit of businesses in the U.S. and the Caribbean.

We want the federal government to take action. Now there has been a meeting between the three leaders, the Prime Minister of Canada and the presidents of the United States and Mexico, there needs to be follow-up to ensure that all three countries have access to this type of program.

That way, if we manufacture Canadian textiles that might ultimately be turned into products or apparel in a Caribbean country, those products could come back onto the North American market through the United States, because the U.S. is one of the major markets.

Our plan must not forget the people who are and, unfortunately, who will be the victims of the current situation. This is particularly true in the apparel industry. Some apparel manufacturers are unaffected by this crisis because they are targeting very specific niche markets. This has proven somewhat successful. However, it always depends on two or three specific factors, such as the proximity to the American market and the ability to rapidly adapt to consumer demand. Not everyone is successful.

I can mention all the subcontractors. It has been a systematic occurrence for many years now, particularly in the denim industry. In my region of Saint-Pamphile, one company was the unfortunate victim. Industries Troie employed hard workers. It had a good management team and very professional seamstresses who subcontracted their services to manufacturers in greater Montreal.

However, when companies began to subcontract to China for substantially less, it was impossible to remain competitive. Now, there are 180 unemployed professional seamstresses, a number of whom are older. The federal government did nothing to ensure that they could obtain benefits under an older workers assistance program, which had existed up to 1995. This program gave older unemployed workers temporary benefits until they qualified for their old age pension in Quebec. We owe it to them.

They are entitled to benefits, because they worked for 15, 20, 25, 30 or 35 years. They paid taxes while working, often year-round, in jobs that paid little. These people were dedicated to their jobs. At the end, they are told that they will get 35, 40 or 45 weeks of EI benefits. After that, that is it. In my opinion, these unemployed workers deserve a decent income until they receive their old age pension.

The intent is not to create markets but to ensure that those working in this sector will be able to move on to other employment possibilities or to retirement without having to get through a period of time with an unacceptable drop in income.

We are talking about people who are often the second wage earner in the family. When jobs are lost—this example comes from my area—they are often the jobs of women earning $8 or $9 an hour. They get offered the same kind of job, but 50 km from home, for $9 an hour. It is not even worth contemplating; it is not cost-effective. There must be measures in place to really help these people find another job. When this is not possible, there must be a program in place to help the oldest workers manage.

My hope for this debate I am opening up today is to ensure that the federal government will proceed with a number of additional measures that will truly allow the textile and clothing industries to adjust to the new market realities. If we manage to get the federal government to accept three, four or five of these measures, I think we will have accomplished something positive. We must not settle for the programs we have at present. The CANtex program is a bit like when someone feels a bit guilty and goes ahead to compensate for some shortcomings, but it solves nothing. There is not enough money in the program. This is not the only kind of program needed. A system is needed that will open up the markets.

This is what I am proposing in my motion, a system that will also ensure those workers forced to leave the work force of decent treatment.

If this House cannot manage to reach agreement on the means to that end, I hope that this hour of debate and the next one will give us an opportunity to exchange views. As a result, we will end up with some action by the federal government that is far more aggressive and, when all is said and done, far more effective, or we can at least hope so.

Textile and Clothing Industries
Private Members' Business

6:30 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Boire Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my hon. colleague from Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup on the excellent work he has done on the textile issue, and on his motion.

I would like to know how this motion could have prevented 1,000 textile industry jobs from being lost in my riding of Beauharnois—Salaberry? I am referring to the 850 jobs at Cleyn & Tinker in Huntingdon and the 150 jobs at Huntingdon Mills and Ormspun.

I want to know how the government could have protected that textile market, since there is currently nothing on the clothes we buy showing where the fabric was made.

Textile and Clothing Industries
Private Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I would like to acknowledge all the work he has done since these plant closures in Huntingdon were announced, sadly.

The answer to his question resides in the fact that, like every government around the world, the Canadian government knew that new market rules would apply starting January 2005. It had been known for years that we would have to change our way of doing things. The mistake was not to have prepared for it well enough and sent a clear message to the industry stakeholders that the Canadian government was there to ensure they would have access to this new market.

I have reviewed all the proceedings of the various committees dealing with international trade and industry. A departmental committee was also struck a few years ago. The government has hidden behind the fact that it was difficult to get the textile industry and the clothing industry to come to an agreement. So, it said that, once these stakeholders had agreed on something, it would implement it.

This took a long time and it was not easy. They are not the same industrial sectors and often they have different interests. Nonetheless, as a result, employers in Huntingdon got the message that nothing would change in Canada, that they had to make do with what they had and, at most, they could get a little bit of money through the CANtex or CATIP programs designed to update the companies. However, these were not significant amounts of money and there was no indication there would be a market.

In terms of NAFTA, if they had known five years ago, given the decision by the U.S. to recreate bilateral agreements with the Caribbean, that Canada would be making efforts and representations to the U.S. to be part of these things, the employers would have thought that the U.S. market might stay open for them. They could have invested and made sure their companies were as up-to-date as possible in order to try to keep their place on the market. Since there was no indication of the sort—there may have a decline in investment and interest—they decided to close their plants at a time when it made the most sense financially.

Unfortunately that is where things stand today. The other big problem is that no programs were set up for the older workers. People knew for many years that this threat was hanging over their heads, but the federal government did nothing about it. The first reaction occurred in December, the day after the plants closed in Huntingdon. It makes no sense.

They should have been proactive three or five years ago and set up programs. However, there was nothing. The day after the plants closed in Huntingdon, a few measures were announced here and there. So far, they have not produced the desired effect. We want the federal government to shift gears and take the offensive to help the clothing and textile industries take their rightful place.

Unfortunately this will not help the people of Huntingdon, but let us hope we can at least learn something from this sorry experience.

I invite my colleague to continue the work he is doing on behalf of the people coping with these terrible situations. I hope we will have the necessary sympathy and empathy here to ensure that there is in fact an assistance program for older workers, to help these people who, in 30 or 40 weeks, will run out of employment insurance benefits.

Textile and Clothing Industries
Private Members' Business

6:35 p.m.

Ahuntsic
Québec

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development (Social Economy)

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak once again on behalf of the textile and apparel industries. In fact, other members and I have supported these industries over the years, and we continue to do so by taking part in the debate on Motion No. 164.

As the federal member for Ahuntsic, a riding where a great many apparel and textile manufacturers once—but not now, unfortunately—did business, I have very often had the opportunity to meet and talk with businesspeople in my riding to discuss and learn about the challenges and barriers these industries are facing.

Let me say that I do not support this list of amendments to the original motion. However, I would like to speak in favour of the original motion, which I support and which is aimed at establishing, in compliance with international agreements, a policy of assistance to the textile and apparel industries in order to enable these industries to compete throughout the world.

As my colleagues know, Canadian textile and apparel industries are still major sources of economic activity revenue in Canada. Located mainly in major urban centres such as Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver, the clothing industry is a major employer for new Canadians.

My mother and my aunts came from Greece, my country of birth, and worked in these factories. The textile industry is a source of skilled jobs throughout Quebec, in Ontario and in the Maritimes.

Canada's apparel and textile industries have faced and are still facing a difficult global trade environment. It is an environment that has encouraged them to make a transition from national businesses and markets to global integrated businesses and markets.

Continually challenged by increasing competition from abroad, the Canadian apparel and textile industries have had to transform themselves over the past decade through focusing on higher value added activity, on innovation and attractive new products, and through identifying and winning niche markets for their products.

However, further change continues to be the order of the day. Apparel and textile markets continue to globalize. Domestic producers continue to face strong competition from low wage countries. The Canadian dollar has demonstrated renewed strength in the last two years. Most certainly, textile and apparel quotas have been eliminated consistent with Canada's World Trade Organization commitments.

Although many of these changes are not unique to the apparel and textile industries or even to the Canadian economy, they are nevertheless having an impact upon the environment in which these industries have and continue to operate. It is in the face of such challenges that the government has demonstrated its continued commitment to the long term viability of both the apparel and textile industries in Canada by working with them to confront these very challenges.

Even though this dialogue started some time ago, and not just because of calls by the opposition, I want to draw the attention of my colleagues to a particular case that illustrates this collaboration between government and industry representatives to overcome these challenges.

To assist these two industries with their preparations for the future, in 2002, the Government of Canada established a joint government-industry working group on textiles and apparel. The industries were represented by the Canadian Apparel Federation and the Canadian Textiles Institute, the two main marketing associations of these industries, as well as the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, representing the employees. Officials from Industry Canada, Finance, International Trade, Statistics Canada, the former Human Resources Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency took part in these meetings.

This joint government-industry working group met a number of times in 2003, not in response to a crisis, because it already existed. During these meetings, representatives of these industries recommended that the government address the issues related to the long-term competitiveness of the apparel and textile industries.

In direct response to these recommendations the Government of Canada announced in February 2004 its commitment to continue to work toward an integrated North American market for Canadian apparel and textile products and to consider any proposals made jointly by the apparel and textile industries for new market development through an outward processing initiative. It would continue to protect against illegal transshipment of imported apparel and textile products and to use existing tools as appropriate to respond to industry complaints regarding injurious import surges.

It would work through the employment insurance program to continue to meet the needs of workers adjusting to changes in the industry and to ensure through ongoing support for human resource sector councils that employees obtain the skills they need to respond to the challenges of the rapidly changing labour market. It would identify and reduce tariffs on imported textile inputs used by the Canadian apparel industry so as to improve the industry's cost competitiveness, initially an approximate value of $26.7 million to the apparel industry over the next three years and subsequently expanded by the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Finance on December 14, 2004 to an approximate value of $75 million.

It would improve the competitiveness of Canadian textile companies through a new three year $26.7 million textiles production efficiency initiative implemented in late 2004 and subsequently expanded on December 14, 2004 by $50 million over five years. It would make the remaining funding from the company component of the Canadian apparel and textiles industries program or CATIP, as it is more widely known, more readily available to companies to undertake initiatives in advance of the removal of apparel and textile import quotas. Therefore, there was an initiative even before there was a problem. It would continue to work through the national initiatives component of the Canadian apparel and textile industries program to address the technology support, branding, trade development and e-commerce needs of the apparel and textile industries, all of which are in the amendments.

This may be old news to members on this side of the House, but it is worth noting in the context of this debate. It demonstrates that we have and are continuing to work with both industries to address these challenges in order to facilitate the continued viability of domestic firms.

In January 2003, we created the CATIP, a program with a three-year, $33 million budget. Thanks to this program for Canadian apparel and textile manufacturers, funding was allocated to over 350 innovative strategic projects to enhance productivity, improve efficiency and identify new markets.

Furthermore, since 2002, $10.9 million was provided to the Canada Border Services Agency to counter illegal trans-shipments of textile and apparel products by least developed countries.

Finally, we provided the initial funding to create the CANtex program, as I mentioned.

Just recently, we also announced duty reductions on textile inputs for further manufacturing in Canada; the allocation of an additional $50 million for CANtex, the textiles production efficiency initiative, so that the textile industry can diversify, develop new product lines and identify new and expanding niche markets; and the five-year extension of the duty-remission orders, benefiting Canadian textile and apparel manufacturers.

I would like to come back to an initiative that affects the workers.

On May 2, 2005 I announced in Montreal on behalf of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development funding of $5.9 million under the sector council program for four projects by the Textiles Human Resources Council. These projects would help support the promotion of skills development within the textile sector, an aim to improve our country's economic growth and competitiveness in the sector.

This was followed again by another announcement last month by the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development of $3 million for three projects aimed at improving our country's economic growth and competitiveness in the apparel sector.

In terms of the workers there is a pilot program for older workers. It is a program that I have been pushing on behalf of the government in order to expand and ensure that those workers who lose their employment once the industries are caught in this globalization will in fact have a new way to look for new jobs not within that sector but perhaps in another sector.

I want to remind hon. members that it is also up to the provincial government, since the Government of Quebec is responsible for training in Quebec. It has not put forward a program and we have had discussions with the sector councils to ensure that these workers are recycled perhaps. I know that in terms of the organization that works in my riding there is an 80% success rate in recycling some of those older workers.

Therefore, challenges remain. The government remains committed as it has in the past to help these industries meet these challenges. On this side of the House we are concerned about this industry. We are concerned about the workers in this industry, but we have not sat back and only criticized. We have in fact worked with the sector councils and the ministers involved, and we have brought forward measures in order to assist these industries.

Textile and Clothing Industries
Private Members' Business

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour tonight to put some remarks on the record. As I listened to the speeches and the rhetoric about the announcements as far back as 2002 in the textile industry, I was wondering what members opposite were thinking when they eliminated the tariffs on fibre and yarn imports. That amounted to $15 million a year. They also eliminated the tariffs on imports of textile inputs used by the apparel industy, which was worth up to $75 million a year effective January 1, 2005.

I remember back to January 2005. There were a lot of families that did not have Christmas because their industries were shut down or cut back in Manitoba. I remember mature workers not knowing where their next jobs would be coming from. I remember families under duress because of the uncertainty of their futures. This was a move by the present Liberal government that caused a great deal of harm to the textile industry throughout our nation.

The textile industry is a very formidable industry. There are 47,000 Canadians employed in textile jobs across Canada and 97,000 employed in the apparel industry. That is a lot of people. The announcement on January 1, 2005 effectively put people out of work. This hurt new immigrants in our country. A lot of these people were in the textile industry looking to obtain job experience and work their way up in that field in Canada. They wanted to present themselves with work experience so they could obtain other jobs.

What is happening now is like a band-aid on a bad situation. The present government must be very careful. More care and diligence should be put into trade agreements and negotiations. Unfortunately, many of the economic problems in this country now are caused by the problems Canadians are facing due to poor trade negotiations. BSE and softwood lumber are examples in addition to the textile and apparel industries.

I will read Motion No. 164 into the record again and then speak to some points surrounding it. It states:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should establish, in compliance with international agreements, a policy of assistance to the textile and clothing industries in order to enable the industries to compete throughout the world, particularly by broadening the Technology Partnerships Canada program to include these two sectors.

We on this side of the House in particular have some questions about adding the two sectors to the technology partnerships Canada program. We always support domestic industries.

It is a shame when opposition parties must ask the government to come up with policies that will support industry. Obviously, the kind of reckless decisions that were made to placate political agendas have really fallen hard on the textile and apparel industries in our nation.

By maintaining the tariffs on imported clothing and the types of textiles produced in Canada, we agree that there should be a two year maintenance and a slow phase-out of that. This would allow clothing made with Canadian textiles but manufactured abroad to be imported without custom duties. For example, if blue jeans are made by a foreign country, they can be free of any tariffs, but if those blue jeans are made by Canadian cloth, that is a different story. For instance, if something were made in Bangladesh and the company was developed by an entrepreneur in China who bought the company in Bangladesh and then imported it into Canada, it would be free from all the tariffs, according to the January 1 initiative by the Liberal government.

There needs to be a more careful assessment of the kinds of companies that are developed. Where are they developed? Why are they developed? Are they avoiding the tariffs to go through a lesser developed country? This is happening today here.

In fact, we suspect, through some evidence that has been gathered, that there are not enough checks and balances put in to find out exactly what is happening. If it is made in Bangladesh, it can come to Canada tariff free. But who has developed that company? Who has bought that company in Bangladesh? What country are they from to import things back into Canada? Those are the questions.

We should impose stricter rules of origin on less developed countries. Even though something comes from a less developed country, that does not necessarily mean that the owner of that company originated in the less developed country. There are not enough checks and balances in there to ensure that we know what is going on there. Canada must adhere to the agreements concluded with the United States, Central America and Caribbean nations. In other words, we must live up to our commitments.

In this day and age, there must be a more professional type of policy in the business world. We should be thinking about Canada first. We should be thinking about our Canadian companies first. The Liberal Party does not work with international organizations to reduce protectionist policies and to secure free trade agreements.

When I hear from members opposite about all these lists of different announcements that are supposed to impact in a very positive way, it behooves me to say that the big gap that really put a blow on the textile industry was made on January 1 when the government eliminated the tariffs on fibre and yarn imports and textile imports used by the apparel industry.

We are all for increasing occupational training transfers to Quebec and for giving training and training programs to workers. In the textile industry and the apparel industry, there are many mature workers. When I listen to the kind of band-aid approach that the present government has for dealing with the mature workforce in the industry, I just have to shake my head.

We need to create an adjustment program that is worthwhile for older workers. Older workers, or what I call mature workers, in the industry are people who are caught. They are caught because they have committed themselves to working in the textile and apparel industry as a career and then when they get up to be 40, 45, 50, all of a sudden, with their jobs being negated, they do not have a future.

The Liberals should ensure that Canadian industries are secure and Canadian workers are taken care of. With the kind of approach that is happening at this time, it behooves us to take a look at the amendment and work quickly to uphold this industry.

Textile and Clothing Industries
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to have the unanimous consent of the House to split my time with the member for Windsor West.

Textile and Clothing Industries
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre has asked for unanimous consent to split his time with the member for Windsor West. Is there consent?

Textile and Clothing Industries
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

An hon. member

No.

Textile and Clothing Industries
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I thought we had the unanimous consent of the parties because we checked ahead of time.