Madam Speaker, there is nothing better than stretching out a good thing. I have no problem with that, especially since we are in a situation today where the motion before us corresponds to reality. Unfortunately, it was moved by a government that does not seem to be facing up to reality. It is quite clear that the Conservative government is up to its usual tricks of saying one thing and doing another. This is true across the board, on an economic, social, environmental and political level.
I find it somewhat deplorable that this type of motion is being moved when it is very clear upon reading yesterday's Speech from the Throne that the government did not make the diagnosis stated in the motion.
We in the Bloc Québécois did make that diagnosis a long time ago. We are well aware that this recovery is still fragile financially speaking. We see that every day on the stock market, not just in Toronto but in the western world as a whole. This is a recovery without jobs and, worse yet, a recovery where there is a risk of more layoffs. Every day we hear about massive layoffs.
It is therefore a pleasure to rise in this House, a pleasure I will be sharing with the hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord. One must not be selfish. Unlike the Conservatives, we in the Bloc have always been very generous.
Conscious of the fact that this is a very financially shaky recovery which, so far, has not produced results in terms of job creation, particularly in the regions of Quebec, the hon. member for Hochelaga, the leader of the Bloc Québécois and I embarked on a tour of Quebec. We have listened to people from all the regions of Quebec who shared their concerns, needs and expectations with us.
I would like to address these expectations first, without getting into the details. First, the economic crisis is not over. Again, the government is putting on its rose-coloured glasses and attempting to deny reality. This is not the first time. Barely one year ago, we were told that there would be no deficit. Later, the deficit was expected to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of $34 billion. Now, that amount has reached $55 or $56 billion. This goes to show that the Conservatives have made it a habit, not only to resort to subterfuge, but also to chronically wear rose-coloured glasses.
People have told us that a second phase to the recovery program was needed to correct the shortcomings of last year's budget, particularly regarding the manufacturing sector. Except for the automotive industry, which received $10 billion in assistance—again, we agreed and still agree with such assistance—other industries in the manufacturing sector did not get anything. Of course, the forestry sector was seriously overlooked, getting nothing more than crumbs.
In yesterday's throne speech, the same measures as last year were served up again. What people asked for, be it those from industry, labour or communities as well as municipal officials, is loan guarantees. The consensus in Quebec is such that the motto for the regions of Quebec might become “We want loan guarantees.” Unfortunately, based on what the throne speech says, I doubt that the Minister of Finance will be announcing any progress in that regard this afternoon.
Over the past year, the Conservatives have ignored all other manufacturing industries. Actually, they have been ignored for a very long time by the Conservatives and the Liberals alike. For example, in Quebec, the aerospace sector has received no assistance or support. The pharmaceutical sector has also been completely ignored.
There is one measure that business, the unions and the scientific community all agree on: a research and development tax credit. This tax credit exists but it is non-refundable. Consequently, companies that undertake research and development activities, but make no profit, do not benefit from this tax credit. I am thinking, among others, of Tembec, which invests approximately $80 million in research and development every year but has not turned a profit for many years. Companies accumulate these credits but they are quite useless since they need the cash now.
This is another very simple measure that we have discussed for quite some time. We were talking about it when I sat on the Standing Committee on Finance. If the Conservatives had the political will to do something other than help the oil sector and the traditional auto sector, it would be very easy to establish this refundable tax credit. All regions of Quebec have asked for this.
On the environment, there again—