Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government continues to ignore the thousands of workers in the manufacturing and forestry industries in Quebec. The announcement made on January 10 angered everyone affected by the worst crisis ever to hit the manufacturing and forestry industries, which are vital to Quebec's economy.
Quebec will receive only $216 million of the $1 billion spread over three years. This is a pittance when you consider that during the same period the rich oil companies in the west will benefit from tax reductions totalling $2.8 billion.
In acting in this way, the right-wing Conservative government is thumbing its nose at the 43,000 workers in these sectors who lost their jobs in 2007. Despite the pressing need for assistance, this government has the gall to make this aid conditional on approval of the budget. This is blackmail. The silence of the Conservative members from Quebec is confirmation that only the Bloc Québécois members are defending the interests of the manufacturing and forestry industries in Quebec.