Mr. Real Caouette (Villeneuve):
Mr. Speaker, last Monday's newspapers carried an account of the conference held on Sunday in Montreal, before a Jewish organization which provides assistance to immigrants, by the economist within the cabinet. Allow me to quote one of those reports:
Mr. Rene Tremblay stated that far from taking jobs away from Canadians, qualified immigrants create employment for less specialized labour.
I am sure that the minister must have gone over what he said over the week end and even though we have nothing against selective immigration, that is precisely what led me to put the following question to the minister yesterday:
During the week end, the minister said that Canada and the province of Quebec would need several thousand immigrants to ensure Canada's economic development. Now, could the minister, whose competence as an economist is well-known in certain quarters-not everywhere, but in certain quarters only-tell us what measures he intends to take so that our 500,000 unemployed may find suitable employment that will permit Canada's economic development?
I know that the minister is going to tell me as he did in Montreal, that we need highly educated people and recognized technicians, that we can no longer look to Europe for those people, since Europe needs all its technicians, and that we must look to other parts of the world, such as Asia, India, China or Japan.
During the week end, I was in Thetford Mines, where about 600 or 650 Canadians will be dismissed from work within 60 days. Yet, they are people with 20 to 25 years' experience in mines and they do not know where to turn if they lose their job in Thetford Mines.
The same thing happened a few years ago in Elliot Lake where hundreds of Canadians lost their jobs. Remember that a
Proceedings on Adjournment Motion man with 20 or 25 years' experience in mines must certainly be a technician in his field, he must certainly know the work he is performing and must certainly be capable of doing something in that field. He is a technician or a mechanical worker or some other thing.
Now, why did the minister tell the Jewish association for aid to immigrants that there is an unquestionable need for immigrants in Canada, whereas, in the province of Quebec alone we have 240,000 jobless people and from 500,000 to 550,000 in the whole of Canada. And those are the officially unemployed, without counting the unofficial ones. Now, we are told that we should have more educated people. There probably will be educated instead of uneducated people without jobs.
I would like to draw the hon. minister's attention to a very important point.
At a time when he, an economist from Quebec in the federal cabinet, talks to us about that immigration that would spur the country's economic expansion, we read in yesterday's Montreal Star:
Automation effects studied.
That appeared yesterday in the Montreal Star. It can be said knowingly that automation will have the same effects here in Canada as in the United states, where it is claimed that 40,000 jobs disappear every week, whereas a tremendous number of young people come on the labour market. That is when Mr. Snyder, Jr., president of United Industries Incorporated, a large U.S. corporation, tells us that the government will have to take drastic and radical steps to meet the situation.
Now, the minister who is also an economist in the federal cabinet, tells us that immigration will not prevent the creation of jobs, when automation is throwing more and more people out onto the streets.
The minister might say that I am making a statement, but I am asking this question: How does he expect to solve the unemployment problem in Canada, by encouraging an immigration policy as he suggested in Montreal during the week end?
Subtopic: INQUIRY AS TO STEPS TO DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT