Mr. Speaker, about a year ago, the Denim Swift company in Drummondville announced that it was laying off more than 600 employees.
Yesterday, six textile plants in the town of Huntingdon announced their imminent closure, and more than 800 workers found out, just days before Christmas, that they will be losing their jobs.
Rather than sitting idly, the federal government has an opportunity to ensure that import tariffs on clothing and textile products are maintained in Canada. It can also continue to remit customs duties paid by clothing companies and to maintain a quota on Chinese imports, under the WTO access protocol for China.
The government can also develop a program to help modernize the clothing and textile industries by stimulating research, development and creation. Finally, it could establish a program to help older workers who will not have a job to go back to.
There are many solutions available. The only thing that is lacking is a will to act on the part of the federal government.