Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to tell you that, of all industries, the one best positioned to make the energy transition is probably the forestry industry. Unfortunately, in Canada—a petro state—there always seem to be two sets of rules when it comes to helping key industries, including providing liquidity support.
Yesterday's announcement suggests that the $500 million being provided by EDC is for a single project: Coastal GasLink. In 2017, under the softwood lumber action plan, EDC's entire budget for the forestry industry was exactly $500 million. Now, EDC is shelling out $500 million for just one project, Coastal GasLink, even though the whole of the forestry industry also received $500 million when it needed EDC's support under a 2017 action plan to deal with tariffs.
The industry accounts for 58,000 jobs in Quebec and $6 billion of Quebec's GDP. As I see it, there is a fundamental inequity.
My question is for the natural resources minister.
Does he think this situation is fair? Will he commit to providing the forestry industry with the same amount of liquidity being made available to the fossil fuel sector?