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.