IN THE HOUSE ~ Speaking on Auto Jobs

39th Parliament, 1st Session
Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster, NDP):


Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Windsor West has done a terrific job, along with his colleague from Windsor--Tecumseh, in fighting back on the appalling poor strategy of the government in terms of auto jobs.

The reality is that the present government is just bad news for working families right across the country. We saw this with the softwood sellout. The former Liberal minister of trade took an agreement with him when he crossed the floor to the Conservatives. We knew, after hearings last summer, that the agreement would result in a catastrophic loss of jobs. The Minister of International Trade knew that and he signed it just the same because he wanted to be in the good books of the Bush administration. He gave away $1 billion. I guess that gift was expected to provide some quid pro quo.

It turned out exactly as the NDP said it would. Five thousand jobs have been lost and $1 billion has been given away since that egregiously bad softwood agreement was signed. Now the Bush administration is saying that Canada should stop all future forestry programs at the federal and provincial levels and stop all support to softwood communities. What a bad deal. What a pathetic government to sign an egregiously bad sellout of this country.

The government has continued it now in the auto sector, as my colleague from Windsor West just pointed out. It has now set up an environmental plan that actually supports the auto sector in other countries, not the Canadian auto sector.

We need to wonder where the Conservatives are coming from. Without questioning the impact, they are taking all the bad Liberal policies that have led to this income crisis in the country where most Canadian families are now earning less than they were 18 years ago, and they are going further. They are rushing forward with a whole series of concessions to sign a trade agreement with South Korea that we know will devastate our auto sector even more.