Madam Speaker, Hyundai has been in the news a great deal in our area since this firm closed its plant in Bromont.
The former Bloc member for Brome-Missisquoi, Gaston Péloquin, had predicted during the last election campaign that the Hyundai plant in Bromont would close. Of course, everybody then believed that he was not telling the truth.
After getting a $23 million loan from Ottawa and the same amount from Quebec, Hyundai set up its plant in Bromont with the objective of producing 100,000 cars a year. We know that this objective was never reached.
When the closing of the plant was announced, Mr. Péloquin and I got together to try to find out more about the future of the Hyundai plant and the 800 jobs that would be lost. We are talking about 800 direct jobs, 800 quality jobs, 800 well-paid jobs. These 800 direct jobs and the contracts that were awarded generated significant economic benefits throughout the Granby-Bromont region.
These jobs were held by people between 25 and 30 on average. We know how difficult it is today for young people to find quality jobs. Our young people were hit hard.
At that time, I urged the government, on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, to act as quickly as possible to save these jobs and, more importantly, to ensure that this situation does not reoccur.
The Prime Minister does not miss an opportunity to brag about job creation. In this case, the federal government failed miserably. I also attended a few meetings held by employees of the Federal Office of Regional Development for Quebec, in Montreal. Nothing could be done. The Liberal government across the way did nothing to save this plant other than take part in unsuccessful meetings.
What we know now is that all the equipment was taken out of the plant and that the executive is challenging the City of Bromont's assessment roll to have their municipal taxes reduced.
Yet, the solution for the future is obvious. We must find another destination for this plant. We should find buyers, a company willing to acquire this infrastructure, a modern plant. We have to recognize that Hyundai will not change its decision. A responsible government claiming that it is stimulating employment should do its utmost to revive the plant.
On April 16, I asked the Minister of Industry whether discussions had been initiated with his Quebec counterpart or any potential buyer who could take over this idle plant and get it running again. I was told that the question would be taken under advisement. Can you imagine that. Not a very impressive answer.
They claim they can run a country, and their stated objective was job creation. Remember: "Jobs, jobs, jobs"? What did they do? Just about nothing. Of course, my Ottawa office has not had an answer yet, even though the parliamentary secretary undertook to give me one. We did not get anything, but it is not the first time, we are used to it. Liberals talk a lot and make lots of promises but, unfortunately, they do not deliver much.
Therefore, I put my question again to the Minister of Industry or his department. Do they have solutions to propose to the people of my riding and the neighbouring riding of Brome-Missisquoi, which is not appear anywhere, on this issue. Are there talks between the government in Ottawa and the one in Quebec City to look for potential buyers who could get this idle plant running again?
People in my riding have the right to know what the federal government is doing for them and I expect an answer on their behalf.