Mr. Gabriel Ste-Marie (Joliette, BQ)
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 52, I am requesting an emergency debate on the possible loss of two of the leading lights of Quebec's economy, Rona and Bombardier, and on the urgent measures that must be taken to avoid potential negative impacts on Quebec's economy and jobs.
We know what a big player Rona is with its many stores, not to mention its supply chain. Half of the company's expenses are in Quebec, and 84% are within Canada. All that will be in jeopardy if Rona is sold to Lowe's, an American company.
Parliament can get involved under the Investment Canada Act, which empowers the minister to authorize or prohibit the sale, or to attach conditions to it, but because of international agreements, the Government of Quebec cannot interfere.
Also top of mind is Bombardier, which will be in trouble if the federal government does not help out and if the family that is the majority shareholder is forced to sell its shares, thereby losing voting control. With the low Canadian dollar, the company could fall into foreign hands.
I would remind the House that Bombardier is the largest employer in Quebec's manufacturing sector. Many subcontractors depend on it, and a number of businesses in the aeronautics sector are already struggling. Look at the recent layoffs at Bell Helicopter. The minister needs to make some decisions on this issue. He needs to examine the situation and tell us what he plans to do about it. If he has not yet made up his mind, we have some suggestions for him.
Requests for emergency debate ought to relate to urgent, extraordinary issues. Obviously, from my perspective, this matter is urgent. Unfortunately, Bloc Québécois and Green Party members cannot avail themselves of an opposition day or routine motion to discuss such matters, because not all members enjoy the same rights and recognition in this place.
That is why I am requesting that we rely on an extraordinary motion, considering the urgency of the situation.
Topic: Routine Proceedings
Subtopic: Request for Emergency Debate