Mr. Speaker, first of all, I strongly disagree with the member's assertion that the government is not supporting communities affected by the loss of manufacturing jobs.
I want to thank the member for giving me the opportunity to highlight all of the positive steps this government has taken since we have taken office.
We continue to work with all the provinces and territories to help them deal with the economic challenges they are facing. For example, in January we announced a $1 billion community development trust. This investment will support communities and workers who are affected by international economic volatility.
Furthermore, the government moved quickly to pass Bill C-41. We did this so that payments through the trust could be provided. Bill C-41 was supported by all parties in the House, including the Bloc Québécois.
Through the trust, the provinces will receive a base amount of $10 million and the territories $3 million, with the balance being provided on an equal per capita basis.
As a result, Quebec will get $216 million to help its communities and workers. The Province of Quebec can use the money provided in the community development trust to invest in job training and skills development, to support the development of community transition plans, and to support initiatives that help diversify local economies.
Budget 2008 went even further by building on funding that was provided by the community development trust. It did so by providing an additional $90 million to extend the targeted initiative for older workers to 2012 to help older workers stay in the workforce.
It also provides $10 million over two years to Natural Resources Canada to promote Canada's forestry sector in international markets as a strong model of environmental innovation and sustainability.
Furthermore, it allocates $72 million over two years to farm programs. It improves access to $3.3 billion in potential cash advances to Canadian farmers.
I question why the member is ignoring the fact that since 2006 we have provided key support for the manufacturing and forestry sectors.
We are also helping manufacturers and processors, including those in Quebec, through the Advantage Canada framework by helping them to better invest and compete.
For example, the government will provide over $9 billion in tax relief by 2012-13, including broad-based tax reductions.
Through the community development trust, as well as other measures introduced in budget 2008, this government is helping the manufacturing sector in Quebec, as well as all communities across Canada that are affected by global economic uncertainty.