Mr. Speaker, in the two minutes I have left, I will repeat that I am in support of the motion by the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre. I appreciate that we have all party support on this. Now we all have to work together, of course, to convince the Minister of Finance to do the right thing.
The issue of the employees, which other hon. members have raised today, has been of concern to me. As I said earlier, we introduced a program for older workers because we need to work with the provinces, for instance, and I will give one very specific example in my riding. Most of it is high tech now. This industry is not labour intensive but high tech, yet especially on the apparel side there are still newly arrived immigrants who are working in this industry.
We need to have two programs, then, one for those who can no longer be recycled. In my opinion, the PATA program introduced by this government has to be introduced earlier, as I have said. At the same time, as the industry becomes more high tech, we have to look at what other types of programs we are going to introduce for those workers who are newly arrived in this country and may not have the skills. I actually have raised this issue with the minister of labour of Quebec. We must have programs.
I will give members another example. In regard to the high tech part of it, a lot of the business people in my riding need trained personnel. There used to be one high tech program, especially in the needle trade. Unfortunately none of the students finishing high school and who may not want to go to professional schools are actually entering this program. We have to encourage this and work with the textile resource institute to get young people to actually find a future in this industry. It is nice to have these machines, but if no one can program them then there is no future.
What I want to say in the last few seconds I have left is that I have worked with this industry for a long time, as have the government, the Minister of Finance and the former ministers of finance. The reason the former minister of finance, now the Prime Minister, put in the seven year period in terms of the duty remission was to help this industry. We have to do the same thing again, in my opinion.
I also want to say that on November 22 I had the pleasure of announcing, along with the Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada, the CANtex program to help the textile industry. There are things happening and there are things we have to do, but we have to do more. It has to be a multi-faceted approach.
It also has to be an approach to open new markets, as I said. In terms of what is going to be in front of the committee on international trade today, the apparel and textile industries will be presenting some recommendations to see how we can help those two industries find new markets for our products. We have very good and competitive products. In my opinion, we have to be more protectionist, like the Americans, of our industry and we have to encourage a north-south type of market, perhaps, instead of looking to Europe or Asia where we are not competitive at all.
We have to assist the ministers, especially the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, to reallocate new sources of funding for those senior workers who will lose their jobs because this industry is becoming more technologically advanced. At the same time, as I have said, we have to look at what other tools the industry needs in order for us to be able to assist it.
My time is up. I support the hon. member's motion. I will continue to work with my colleagues from the Beauce and Scarborough Centre and the minister involved.