June 7, 1993 (34th Parliament, 3rd Session)


John Horton McDermid (Minister of State (Finance and Privatization))

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member rightfully pointed out that there has been a reduction in employment in the industry.
As I mentioned in my remarks and as the industry itself has acknowledged, rationalization has had to go on. Modem equipment and far more productive operations have come into play. We have seen some very positive results. We have gone through a recession, there is no question about that. We have lost employment to that and we have lost some employment to rationalization.
One of the things I think we should point out to the Canadian public just to make a balanced presentation to them is that exports of apparels are up some 60 per cent since the free trade agreement came in. The Canadian producers of apparel found markets in the United States during the free trade agreement and have done very well with sales. With these changes and reductions in tariffs, it will make them even more competitive. I just wanted to get that on record.
I understand the hon. member's concern about manufacturing jobs and so on and he is right. There has been a reduction, but there has also been an increased productivity, very impressive by the way, in the industry. At the same time, there have been greater exports to the
United States which during a recessionary period have been very significant.

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