Mr. Speaker, as the member for Lévis, I welcome this opportunity to inform the members of this House of the alarming situation at the MIL Davie shipyards.
At the beginning of 1993, there were 3,500 employees, and now there are only 2,400 left. Since lay-offs are taking place at a rate of one hundred a week, the number of employees may drop to 500 in a matter of months. If nothing is done pretty soon, this will mean an economic loss of $600 million for the Quebec City area.
The company has prepared a plan for conversion from military to civilian business, but MIL Davie needs contracts to cover the transition to competing at the international level.
I would therefore ask the government to give serious consideration to awarding the company the contract for building the Magdalen Islands ferry and to helping it develop the so-called "smart ship".