Mr. Speaker, I have listened closely to the Prime Minister’s speech. Indeed, certain major problems followed from the inaction of the previous government, such as the fiscal imbalance and the acts of dishonesty. The outcome of this election constitutes a judgment that these things have to be changed. We will wait to see what documents and what bills are tabled, what actions are taken by the government, and then determine whether the Speech from the Throne is translated into concrete results.
However, there is one factor which is given inadequate emphasis in that speech, and that is competition and competitiveness in our manufacturing sector. I found only one sentence in the throne speech on this subject: “[The government] will promote a more competitive, more productive Canadian economy”.
Can the Prime Minister assure us that this weakness in the throne speech will not prevent us from seeing, in the days and weeks ahead, concrete actions aimed at dealing with the new reality of global competition, as the value of the dollar fluctuates with gasoline prices, exports to the United States and the rest of the world, and the economies of emerging countries which are becoming formidable competitors, in the face of which the previous government did nothing?
Will the government add these elements to the content of its speech? For it is a speech that has nothing to offer our manufacturing industries, which are now losing thousands of jobs. Will the government act to ensure them a place on the international stage and to ensure that our people can keep their jobs? Often these people have devoted 10, 15 or 20 years of their lives to these businesses, and now they are seeing the rug being pulled out from under their feet. What will the Conservative government do for these people who seem to have been forgotten in the throne speech?