Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to stand today to follow up on a question I asked in the House of Commons on November 2. I was asking for a response from the Minister of Industry with regard to an auto policy. At the time I gave a reference of some dates, asking for an auto policy going back to 2002. The minister at that time said he would have something together but it was going to take a couple of weeks. Since that time it has been three weeks and we have yet to hear from the minister.
To provide some context, I first want to touch on a couple of things that have been happening over the years and also in that timeframe where people out in the community in business and labour as well as organizations are very much interested in advancing Canada's automotive strategic position to make sure that we are going to be competitive in the world, and also that we are going to be able to move our industry in an environmental way that really will benefit not only our producers, our manufacturers and our employment but also our environment.
Since 2002 I have heard from three separate ministers that they would move on auto policy but I have yet to see action. There is a history of this. I would say that the CAW needs to be congratulated for its original position, “Getting Back in Gear”, which was the first comprehensive paper on auto policy advocating for an active role in the government since the collapse of the auto pact.
We worked with the CAW, Greenpeace and David Suzuki to make sure that we had a green auto policy in this last election. There was great interest in the creation of manufacturing jobs related to renewing our industry through the environment.
Second, what precipitated my question was a recent policy which was a call for action. The Canadian Automotive Partnership Council has finished its last draft of a call for a national strategy on auto policy. In it there are five suggestions at the top of the list; there are others that are part of the list but it is pushing for the government to act on some and have graded some favourable but others very low. We need to make sure that those graded very low get the appropriate supports.
Last, since that time the Sierra Club was host for a day on the Hill where we talked about environmental conditions, auto policy and the procurement of a new strategy.
Therefore, my question for the parliamentary secretary is to find out exactly when we are going to see this auto policy. The minister has committed to it publicly in this chamber. He said that he would have something within a couple of weeks. He has indicated to me in other discussions that he does want to move on this file, but we need more than just rhetoric. We need to make sure that we are going to have an actual policy, because we have seen lost opportunities. From my community we have witnessed the lost opportunity with DaimlerChrysler. The Liberals basically botched the file. I would give the government credit for recently being able to actually do a deal with Ford in Oakville, which was very important for that community and also for this country.
Finally, we need to have a transparent auto policy which makes sure that the industry, consumers and also this country understand the importance of the auto industry and also the accountability of addressing the subsidization that is happening across this country and across the world and is costing us auto jobs.