February 10, 2009 (40th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Dawn Black (Interjection)

New Democratic Party

Ms. Dawn Black

Mr. Speaker, I know that my colleague from Windsor West has done an incredible amount of work on this whole issue of the Navistar contract being let to the company in Texas, causing people in his own community to lose their jobs.
The defence committee conducted a short study last year on the issues around defence procurement. Many of the witnesses who came to speak to the committee talked about the need to ensure that the jobs are retained in Canada when we let one of these defence contracts.
Further in relation to the Navistar issue, we know the plant is available and the work could be done there to build these trucks for the Canadian Forces. We know it would take only a very small injection of cash to bring that plant up to speed and keep those employees working right now. I think it is in the neighbourhood of $800,000. People cannot even buy a house in Vancouver, where I live, for $800,000. It is a minimal investment that needs to be made so that these jobs can stay in Canada.
Has the government considered what it is going to cost in EI payments? I think it is in the neighbourhood of $14 million in EI payments to the workers losing their jobs in his town with the Navistar contract going to Texas.
I cannot answer why the government does not have any common sense. Canadian jobs should stay in Canada and not be shipped down to Texas.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2009
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