House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was support.


Automotive IndustryAdjournment Proceedings

7:35 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec


Greg Fergus LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to respond to the comments made by the hon. member for Windsor West regarding Canada’s automotive industry.

Our government values the hard work and important contributions of Canadians in our automotive sector. Our automotive industry is the largest contributor to Canada’s manufacturing GDP and plays a key role in maintaining our strong economy. This one sector alone employs over half a million Canadians.

I am pleased that the unions and industry members have reported successful negotiations and I see this as a positive sign for the future of this key sector. Building on the partnership between industry and labour, our government remains committed to being a full and active partner in strengthening Canada’s automotive footprint.

Our government is taking clear actions to support the growth of this key sector. We have heard from our stakeholders that securing Canada’s assembly plants and attracting new ones are the foundations of success for the future of this industry. Recognizing the importance of the sector, budget 2016 extended the automotive innovation fund through to the end of 2020–21. I think my colleague will be very interested to hear that.

We are also in the midst of carrying out the government’s innovation agenda. Our vision is to make Canada a global centre for innovation. Our mission is to create good-paying jobs that will grow the middle class and support those working hard to join it. The automotive industry is an important contributor to innovation in Canada. We are entering an exciting time with the emergence of new and innovative technologies. Canada has a mature automotive cluster that aligns with the future of the industry.

Our strengths in R&D and supplier innovation include information technologies, sensors, network security, lightweight materials, and alternative powertrains.

In terms of the impacts, investing in the automotive industry benefits Canadians across the country.

Stakeholders, including the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council, cite the need to focus on encouraging innovation and attracting strategic, long-term investments as the most critical strategy to support competitiveness.

Our government’s actions to support strategic investments in advanced manufacturing, innovative technologies, and cleaner vehicles will help Canada reap the benefits of growth across the economy.

Automotive IndustryAdjournment Proceedings

7:40 p.m.


Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that we are getting our clocks cleaned internationally on this file, even under the agreements we have signed. For example, in the last three years Mexico has created five separate new plant developments. Meanwhile in Canada, we do not have a greenfield site in the last decade.

That is an important fact, because we do not have these opportunities despite, I would argue, our being in the dawn of a new age for the automotive sector with the advancements the parliamentary secretary noted. Yet as he said, we are just continuing the auto innovation fund. We are not even putting the money into the fund like we should.

That is just a continuation of the Conservatives, and Harper's policies. If the Liberals are happy to keep Harper's policies on a lifeline to 2021, that is not enough for the industry. That is not enough for workers. That is not enough for Canadians.

I would say that when we look at our competition and what is happening, we are being negligent. I would point more recently to Volkswagen, which is influenced and financed by the German state. It is getting an advantage and Volkswagen is in lawsuits right now in the United States because of the products being sold when they should not have been, similar to the situation with other products being dumped into Canada.

We need a national auto policy, a national auto strategy. Workers are paid throughout for their fine work and they have negotiated that opportunity, but seize it now while we can.

Automotive IndustryAdjournment Proceedings

7:40 p.m.


Greg Fergus Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, my NDP colleague knows full well that Canada is attracting new investments in the automobile sector and even right in his very own riding. In fact, he surely knows that two corporations established in Windsor, namely Landau Gage and Electromac Group, received financing thanks to the program he just criticized.

Moreover, this year, General Motors announced that a new Canadian research centre would be established in Oshawa, which will create 1,000 jobs. These are not just any jobs, as 1,000 engineers will be hired to find new ways to manufacture cars based on advances made in the automotive industry.

I am convinced that Canada is on the right track. We will make investments to modernize our economy, especially the manufacturing sector, which is very important for all Canadians.

Automotive IndustryAdjournment Proceedings

7:45 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 7:45 p.m.)