Mr. Speaker, I want to respond to my friend from Markham. He and I have had this debate several times and this gives us an opportunity.
First, I have two simple questions. One is with regard to the capital cost allowance.
As an old-time banker, my friend from Markham realizes that in order to take advantage of the capital cost allowance in any business venture, there have to be profits. In order to have profits, there has to be a good business climate, and that seems to have been lacking in the forestry business for the last several years.
The Liberal government started the negotiations with Korea I think in 2005, so maybe he would like to respond to that. We just concluded it.
With regard to the Liberal program in forestry, his numbers are wrong. He stated it was $1.3 billion. It was really $1.4 billion, of which $800 million would go to aid the softwood lumber industries across the country.
As we know, there were $5 billion on deposit in the United States. As a former banker, my colleague realizes that banks like to see a flow of money through the till in order to pay off obligations. Most of these companies were being wiped out because of lack of cashflow because they were paying the softwood lumber duty.
Out of that $1.4 billion, $800 million were to go immediately to the softwood lumber industries in the whole country, which would have helped them carry on with their businesses. The other $600 million were to go to the economic development agencies, ACOA, the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, which we are debating today, FedNor and Western Economic Diversification. That would have been primarily to help the industries in those particular sections under debate today.
The Liberals did not do it. They had the opportunity to pass it. Would my friend answer why it was not passed? That forced this government to come in with the legislation the Minister of International Trade brought in as soon as the Conservatives formed the government.