Mr. Robinson (Etobicoke-Lakeshore):
Well, we can hope for it, can we not? If you lose hope, what do you have left?
The same process is under way at de Havilland. Obviously, CDIC has more to do there. We know that. We do not need to be told. The Government believes that there is a good opportunity to have in Canada a commercially viable aircraft industry. That is a decision we had to make. Do we want an aircraft industry or not? Diefenbaker in his time decided we did not want one. We have decided at this time that we do. We will have to wait and see what happens in the future. The lesson to be learned from this experience of the last two years is that turnarounds of the sort which is underway at Canadair do not just happen on their own. The turnaround at Canadair happened because the Government had in CDIC an instrument it could use to manage its investment in Canadair.
Quite simply, the Government needs an instrument like CDIC to manage its investments when it becomes a shareholder. The critics of CDIC cannot wish away these shareholding situations by attacking the vehicle through which the Government is managing its investments. Last Fall, this House passed Bill C-170, the Atlantic Fisheries Restructuring Act. Again, this was a situation in which the Government found itself as a shareholder in three companies involved in the catching, processing and marketing of fish, companies whose operations are vital to the well-being of the entire fishing industry and of the economies of the five eastern provinces. Hon. Members know the story behind that investment and I will not go over that old ground.
However, once the Government found itself, for pragmatic reasons, with new shareholdings, there was quite obviously a continuing need to manage those investments. Those companies, or their predecessors, had all lost money in recent years, but all of them must become internationally competitive because the major markets for Canadian fish are broad. They must operate on a commercial basis and the Government's investment must be well managed.
The Government could not ask the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (Mr. De Bane) to do that job; he is the regulator of the resource and its harvesting. This time the Government had a vehicle available to manage those investments; CDIC. We need CDIC to take charge of such cases and to return them to the private sector when it is commercially feasible to do so. That makes sense to me, and it should make sense to Hon. Members opposite. We do not want to see the Government losing more money than it has already.
CDIC has proven its usefulness in the case of Canadair. It is applying the same analytic and problem solving ability to de Havilland and it will do the same in the fishing industry. Hon. Members know that any Government will find itself with investments in industry. They know that these investments need sound management. They know that there must be an instrument available to Government to provide that management. CDIC is that instrument, and I am confident that its creation represents a major step forward in dealing with the issue of managing government investments.
May 28, 1984
Subtopic: CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic: MEASURE TO ESTABLISH