Mr. Speaker, at a time when different parts of the world are looking to sign treaties to maximize spinoff opportunities from major aluminum producers, it would seem essential that the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region have greater assurances with respect to employment and processing. That opinion is shared by a number of elected officials as well as labour leaders in my region.
Take for example the new agreement between Alcoa and the Government of Quebec, which was signed recently. For the very first time, a minimum employment level has been guaranteed in exchange for energy benefits. While not perfect, this new agreement shows that reasonable conditions can be negotiated with companies with respect to employment and processing.
The Conservative government must understand that a laissez-faire policy vis-à-vis aluminum giants is no longer an option in the regions of Quebec. This government turned a blind eye on the sale of Alcan to Rio Tinto, and the people of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean are not about to forget it.