IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period ~ on steel and a "buy Canadian procurement policy"

40th Parliament, 2nd Session

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister does not get it when it comes to the real problems facing Canada's steel industry. There is no sectoral strategy for steel and no procurement policy for our own industry. If the government is really concerned about protecting the Canadian steel industry, it should look into the real problem of having sweatshop steel dumped into our market from the Third World.

Will the government stand up for Canadian workers and address the real problems with the steel trade instead of picking ideological fights with the U.S. president?

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Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, nothing could be farther from the truth. This government, through its actions, through the economic plan, through its actions in the budget is focused on our business opportunities, is focused on making sure small and medium sized enterprises, sectors such as steel, are looked after.

That is why we have the capital cost allowance measures that the Finance Minister introduced, that is why we have the tax reductions, and that is why we have the stimulus package that is found in the budget. This budget is for our economy, it is for every constituent and component of our economy, and that is why we support this budget. They should, too.

__________________________________________________________________Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister does not get it when it comes to the real problems facing Canada's steel industry. There is no sectoral strategy for steel and no procurement policy for our own industry. If the government is really concerned about protecting the Canadian steel industry, it should look into the real problem of having sweatshop steel dumped into our market from the Third World.
Will the government stand up for Canadian workers and address the real problems with the steel trade instead of picking ideological fights with the U.S. president?
Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, nothing could be farther from the truth. This government, through its actions, through the economic plan, through its actions in the budget is focused on our business opportunities, is focused on making sure small and medium sized enterprises, sectors such as steel, are looked after.
That is why we have the capital cost allowance measures that the Finance Minister introduced, that is why we have the tax reductions, and that is why we have the stimulus package that is found in the budget. This budget is for our economy, it is for every constituent and component of our economy, and that is why we support this budget. They should, too.
Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, why will the government not just admit that it has dropped the ball on this file?
For years we have known that the real problem with steel production is actually from the dumping of low wage steel from the third world. However, instead of bringing in a sectoral strategy, the government has chosen to wag its fingers at the U.S.
Why does the government not move to bring in measures like “buy Canada” to build our steel industry here in Canada?
Hon. Stockwell Day (Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I believe that some issues should attract some partisan support. When we are dealing with issues of trade on an international basis and protectionism, I would hope that members of the House would be a little bit more informed than what we are hearing from the member opposite.
Chinese steel products coming into Canada related to dumping issues is of great concern to us. That is precisely why we have applied the protest through the dispute settlement mechanism.
We are going after them on a dispute on the dumping of steel and the member should get informed on the issues.

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Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, why will the government not just admit that it has dropped the ball on this file?

For years we have known that the real problem with steel production is actually from the dumping of low wage steel from the third world. However, instead of bringing in a sectoral strategy, the government has chosen to wag its fingers at the U.S.

Why does the government not move to bring in measures like “buy Canada” to build our steel industry here in Canada?

_________________________________________________________________

Hon. Stockwell Day (Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I believe that some issues should attract some partisan support. When we are dealing with issues of trade on an international basis and protectionism, I would hope that members of the House would be a little bit more informed than what we are hearing from the member opposite.

Chinese steel products coming into Canada related to dumping issues is of great concern to us. That is precisely why we have applied the protest through the dispute settlement mechanism.

We are going after them on a dispute on the dumping of steel and the member should get informed on the issues.