Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. minister to be careful concerning the point our colleague from Winnipeg—Transcona has just raised. In fact, the minister himself said it well in his reply. The two parts of this large industry are far from agreeing with each other.
In my riding, we recently lost the Consoltex factory, in Alexandria. Its product is not apparel but textile. I know that these people have a very different point of view from that raised by the hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona.
We must fulfil our international obligations, as the minister said so well, but at the same time, we must remember that the textile manufacturing industry has different interests. Canadians work in that industry, too.
It is all very well to say, in the case of one particular type of fabric, that it is no longer manufactured in Canada. But we must not forget that the clothing industry is very complicated. In fact, to a great extent, it is a kind of fashion industry, that is, it is not an essential industry. If we wore only the clothes we had to wear, rather than those we want to wear, things would be very different.
Consequently, there are substitutions among articles of clothing. Even if a certain fabric is not manufactured in Canada, people in other sectors feel the impact because, of course, another fabric could be used.
I invite the minister to proceed with caution, in the way he has explained, so that we can preserve both these industries, not only clothing but also textile, which is also very important.