Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's speech made me think about the issue of natural resources. I must say that I agreed with him, but I wish that we could find a way to ensure that the productivity gains made in recent years and which will be made in the years to come as a result of the use of equipment are channelled back to the forestry workers, because today, machines are being used to cut far more trees and far fewer workers are needed to operate this equipment. However, the resulting productivity gains stay in the companies and are not reinvested in workers who are laid off and often left to subsist on unemployment insurance or welfare.
I think the budget should contain mechanisms, through the tax system or otherwise, for putting workers back to work. For instance, in the forestry industry, some people do not get retraining, and not everyone can be retrained for high tech jobs. There will always be people who prefer and in fact have the ability to work in forestry operations.
Again, I agree with the hon. member who just spoke that it would be useful to find ways to involve these workers in the industry, so that the forest is given a chance to regenerate and become the forest of the future that can fulfil our requirements. Today, with our huge lumber exports to the United States, we may run out at any given time, and that is something we have to plan for.
The hon. member also made an interesting point when he said it might be a good idea for the federal and even the provincial government to withdraw from certain tax areas and let local governments manage local facilities. And of course in my case, the example that comes to mind is the wharves. It does not make sense for a wharf 300 kilometres from Quebec City and 800 kilometres from Ottawa to be managed by officials who have only seen photographs and plans and are not familiar with the day-to-day concerns and the importance of this infrastructure for the community. I ask the government to consider whether it would be appropriate to withdraw from an area where it cannot really play an effective role, and I also refer to what the previous speaker said.