Absolutely. I will read it into the record. I move:
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) that the committee immediately undertakes a study concerning the automotive industry in Canada and details of all options of the federal government's plan to defend the Canadian automotive industry, and the ability to defend Canada's competitiveness globally; that the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development appear; and that the committee report its findings to the House.
I just want to start off by thanking the chair and members from all parties. We heard about the announcement at General Motors and I think everybody understands what an impact that can have. It is devastating to the people on the ground. Really it's about the workers and people who are going to be affected by this closing.
There's a big concern out there, as I was saying earlier. These are investments that these companies are going to be making soon, and these are once-in-a- generation investments. The reality is, the automotive companies are going to be building the cars of the future, the autonomous cars and electric cars. The challenge is that GM's not going to be doing that in Oshawa, and I think we have to find out why.
I talked to a colleague, and he said, “Well, you know they did close four plants in the U.S.” To put this into perspective, Mr. Chair, it was 2,800 direct jobs in Oshawa. Our economy is 10 times smaller than the U.S. economy. The U.S. lost 3,600 jobs—which is important—but this would be an equivalent of 28,000 jobs in the U.S., plus the spinoff ones.
Down at the gate, there were a lot of tears and a lot of questions about the Prime Minister's plan. He said, “We're putting in these new policies so we can have these jobs of the future, and build the next generation of products here.” This was an award-winning plant, and overall they just said, “Why? Why is this not being brought to this plant?”
If companies are going to be building these cars in North America, where are they building them? What are the policies that these other jurisdictions have that we don't? What can we do here to match that, because if GM is not going to be having their award-winning plant building these products into the future, then we are missing out on something. We're doing something wrong here.
I think it would really show leadership. I've been asking the Prime Minister in the House. He has promised to come up with a plan, but we're not seeing anything, and the uncertainty out there is extremely problematic.
I want to let my colleagues and everybody around here know there's hope. When they made this announcement, it wasn't that they were bulldozing the plant. What they said is they don't have allocation past 2019. In my community, back in 2008, they actually said the same thing for our consolidated line, but guess what? Because of our community's resilience and ability to work together and innovate, we were actually able to keep that line open until 2015-16, so years later.
We have to let Canadians know, especially the manufacturing sector, that we're willing to work with them. There is hope, and we need to start immediately, because the clock's ticking.
I want to thank my colleagues again for your kind words when this occurred, and I'm looking to see if we can have this motion accepted at this committee. I think if we can do something before Christmas, it would really show a little more optimism out there. There's a bit of a dark cloud hanging over my community right now, and I'd appreciate the help.