First of all, Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague, the Secretary of State for Science, Research and Development, for his maiden speech in which he demonstrated a broadness of outlook.
I would like to ask him to what extent he is sensitive to the drastic changes presently occurring on the geopolitical scene and which mean that the whole defence industry is being transformed.
We know that thousands of jobs have already been lost and thousands more will be lost in the next few years, and they were highly technical jobs as the red book of the Liberal Party pointed out. I would like to know to what extent his government is sensitive to that phenomenon, since it was in the red book, but it has not been mentioned since October 25. In my opinion, it would take some strong and courageous action by the government to help the companies affected switch from military to civil applications.
In this context, I would like to ask him whether he considers that the construction of a high speed train in the Quebec-Trois-Rivières-Windsor corridor could compensate, technically and financially, the cancellation of the helicopter program? Also, does he not think that MIL Davie of Lauzon, builder of military ships, mostly for the Canadian government, which has set its own plan of conversion to civil work, should be given immediately the contract to build the ferry for the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, to offset current economic pressures? These initiatives would be in line with the proposals of the red book.