Mr. Speaker, as per Standing Order 52, the New Democratic Party requests that the House of Commons hold an emergency debate today on the foreign takeover of Canadian industries. The issue is of immediate importance to the national economy and the well-being of working people across Canada. We hope that you will look favourably on this request.
Canada is losing its economic gems. Canadian interests, whether small, medium or large, are being taken over by foreign interests. Alcan seems to be next on the list, going for $33 billion. Yesterday, Van Houtte was sold to American interests for $600 million. Such transactions may please shareholders, but all this does not bode well for Canada's economy, and thus for the families of Canadian workers. It is urgent that we have a debate here, in this House, to take up this issue of the utmost importance, I would even say of vital strategic importance, as the livelihoods of families are at stake.
We do not have in place the kinds of protections, the kinds of regulations and the kind of decision making that would allow us to ensure that whenever there is a foreign takeover of a Canadian business, Canadian jobs are put as a priority, that investment in the country is put as a priority.
In fact, it is to the contrary. I have visited plants where foreign takeovers have simply resulted in contracts that would otherwise have been performed by the workers in those plants who, in some cases, have been there for many years being shipped elsewhere to other companies that the multinational owns, either in the United States or far beyond across the seas where the jobs get created. Gradually industry in Canada is winding down to the point where we have a crisis of 250,000 jobs lost in our manufacturing sector.
At some point we have to recognize that we are in an urgent situation and that the House of Commons needs to debate the best possible ideas about how this crisis can be addressed.
Mr. Speaker, I hope that you will look favourably on this request for an emergency debate.