Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present this petition of great importance to millions of Canadians who are both directly and indirectly affected by the manufacturing crisis. In the past five years alone, over 250,000 hard-working Canadians have lost their jobs in layoffs, and plant closures have crippled the manufacturing sector. At the same time that these Canadians are struggling, the government is awarding massive public contracts to foreign companies at the expense of our homegrown industries.
This practice cannot continue. Canada needs to develop its own manufacturing plans, similar to those in the United States that protect and give assistance to this vital sector. We must remember that the manufacturing sector is vital to Canada's economic infrastructure and industrial stability. I urge my fellow members to stand with me and these petitioners as we develop a strategy to help Canada's manufacturing industry.