The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill , be read the second time and referred to a committee.
Mr. Speaker, it is wonderful to feel the support of my dear friends, but that is certainly not what Aveos workers are feeling today.
Normally, I am pleased to rise in the House on behalf of the people of Longueuil and Saint-Hubert to talk about bills that matter to them. Since I was elected in 2011, I have been saying that I am my constituents' ears at home in Longueuil and Saint-Hubert and their voice here in Ottawa.
Today, however, I am rising to express their dissatisfaction, disgust, and concern with regard to Bill . God knows that I share those feelings. I cannot believe that things have gotten to this point. When I think of all the things that this Liberal government and previous Liberal governments have done, this takes the cake. The government is signalling left and turning right.
The Liberal government recently boasted about its love and support for the aerospace sector, a leading-edge sector that we can all be proud of, particularly in Quebec. However, when it came time to take real action to support this sector, the government got off track and made a shocking 180-degree turn. It does not make any sense. It is shameful.
Not only will Bill dilute the guarantees for the City of Mississauga, the City of Winnipeg and the Montreal Urban Community that are in the law, but it will also allow Air Canada to determine the acceptable number of jobs that will remain in Canada instead of complying with the previous provisions of the law.
This will open the door to international outsourcing that Air Canada will consider necessary in order to remain competitive. In short, the government could not care less about the hundreds of good jobs across the country.
It would seem that with the knowledge that Air Canada is committed to buying Bombardier's C Series aircraft, which is an excellent business decision in itself, the Liberal government is passing the buck by easing the legal rules around aircraft maintenance. It is as though production and maintenance are being pitted against one another and the government is not thinking of the Canadian aerospace sector as an industrial ecosystem. I will come back to this later in my speech.
In short, Bill sends a very ominous message to aerospace workers. It is very worrisome, and I am expressing these concerns on behalf of thousands of people in Longueuil—Saint-Hubert who work in the aerospace sector.
Not all MPs may know this, but the aerospace sector is of particular importance to the people in my riding. Longueuil—Saint-Hubert is home to the Canadian Space Agency, which is located very close to the École nationale d'aérotechnique, a specialized school affiliated with the CEGEP Édouard-Monpetit that trains new workers for high value-added jobs in this sector.
I have had the honour of representing this riding since 2011, and the vitality of the industrial sectors is especially important to me. The industrial cluster employs thousands of people in our region's SMEs.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Madam Speaker, thank you for bringing the House to order. After all, jobs are at stake.
In Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, the aerospace sector is made up of companies like MCS-Servo, which makes electrohydraulic control systems, and Héroux-Devtek, which specializes in landing gear. The first leg of the LEM, or lunar module, that landed on the moon was created back home. MAX Technologies is in software and simulators. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention one of the biggest employers in my riding, Pratt & Whitney, a leader in the field of aircraft engine manufacturing, whose achievements include the famous quiet C Series engine. Beal Technology specializes in variable speed drives and load controllers. TechNOW Automation specializes in ultrasound inspection devices. We also have MSB Design and Usinage Netur for components, and Automation Machine Design RC, which specializes in automated equipment. I would not want to forget Amrikart, which is a master in the field of 3D digitization. The list is long, and I could name many more.
The point I want to make here is that the aerospace industry cannot be described in monolithic terms. As I said earlier in my presentation, it is an industrial ecosystem, and the vitality of the industry stems from more than just the large corporations, like Bombardier.
I really like using the example of Aéro Montréal and its MACH initiative. Here is how the organization itself describes the initiative:
...the MACH initiative aims to strengthen the supply chain structure and companies involved in it by creating special collaboration links among customers and suppliers....By doing so, it aspires to help develop a world-class supply chain...[and] optimize its performance...in an effort to increase its global competitiveness....The initiative will progressively make available to participating companies services, tools and methodologies to evaluate and improve their performance and market position and further develop business opportunities.
Aéro Montréal should be really proud of this initiative, which will help the supply chain become more competitive. However, the ecosystem comparison does not stop there, and two crucial aspects need to be explained.
There is the contribution of the education system, especially the École nationale d'aérotechnique, which I mentioned earlier, but there is also considerable support from the university sector, especially the École de technologie supérieure, which helps promote new blood, new ideas, and the next generation of workers in this important economic sector. The same can be said for a program like the master's in aerospace engineering, offered jointly by the École polytechnique de Montréal, the École de technologie supérieure, Université Laval, McGill University, Concordia University, and the Université de Sherbrooke.
Above all, there is political will. Take, for example, the Government of Quebec, which decided to take the bull by the horns and invest in innovation in the aerospace sector, recognizing the positive economic impact it can have on Quebec.
I want to quote Suzanne Benoît, the president of Aéro Montréal, talking about the Government of Quebec's strategy:
This strategy will contribute actively to the development of the high value-added aerospace sector which is generating increasing revenues every year. In 2015, they totalled $15.5 billion, an increase of more than 12% compared to 2014.
These impressive figures illustrate the Government of Quebec's political will. For its part, the federal government seems to be headed in the completely opposite direction. Bill sends some particularly worrisome signals.
The Liberal government is completely destabilizing the ecosystem of the aerospace sector, as I said earlier. We have to think of the aircraft maintenance services as a supply chain of integrated firms. If Air Canada is released from its legal obligations to have its maintenance work done in Canada, not just the company that provides those services will suffer, but also all the companies that supply the parts, the machinery, and the technology. The supply ecosystem is being attacked, and that is serious.
What message are we sending to the current workers and those who want a career in the aerospace sector in the future? We are saying it is no big deal to send jobs overseas, as long as Air Canada remains competitive. The other reason it is no big deal is that we are keeping jobs at Bombardier to build the C Series. That is not how it works.
I think what the government is trying to say is that aerospace production is good, but maintenance is less important. That does not work. We have the legislative means to outsource even more of the manufacturing base. If I were the Liberal government, there would be nothing stopping me from making the big players and Air Canada happy. The employees are being shortchanged.
Shipping jobs abroad, where they likely will not pay as well and come with unknown working conditions, will create uncertainty for many families here at home. This is increasing social inequality. Everyone sees where this is going. We are starting to get quite far away from the sunny ways that the leader of the Liberal Party promised us during the election campaign. Is this his plan for jobs in Canada?
We have two Liberal governments, one in Quebec and the other in Ottawa. They are making decisions that are inconsistent, go every which way, and threaten to undermine an industrial ecosystem that is the envy of the entire world. They are creating utter uncertainty for hundreds if not thousands of workers.
Indeed, Bombardier is important. However, Bombardier is not the only company in Canada that works in the aerospace sector.
Today, I am standing up for the small players, the small businesses, and, of course, students, such as those at the ÉNA. These companies and these people play by the rules. They dedicate themselves to development programs, such as Aéro Montréal's MACH Initiative. To them, this bill sanctions Liberal hypocrisy.
Aerospace workers in Longueuil, Saint-Hubert, and the rest of Quebec will always be able to count on my NDP colleagues and me to condemn this bill, which poses a real threat to good-quality, high value-added jobs in Longueuil and Saint-Hubert. That is unacceptable, so I will be voting against Bill at second reading.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question.
For the people who live in my part of the world, in Longueuil and Saint-Hubert, the aerospace industry is something that has really shaped the landscape. Earlier, I briefly mentioned Pratt & Whitney and Héroux-Devtek. A federal budget that barely mentions the aerospace industry is insulting for people in my riding. It is a slap in the face.
The Liberals made all sorts of nice promises during the election campaign. Some of my neighbours are engineers, men who are now about 75 years old. They worked on the PT6 engine, which is known as man's best friend, after dogs and horses. These people have aeronautics in their blood, and they think that a budget like this one that does not do anything for this industrial sector is pathetic. I would like to remind members that Héroux-Devtek, in my riding, is the company that made the landing gear for the Apollo lunar module.
As far as we are concerned, there are some measures that could have been included, particularly for SMEs, which once again got the short end of the stick. They made their budget forecasts taking into account a tax cut that was supposedly promised to them but that they will never see.
Mr. Speaker, this debate that is taking place in the House is an important one for all Canadians. This industry is shaped and moulded across this country and it has been contributed to by a lot of incentives from taxpayers. It is also one that is part of the value-added chain of manufacturing which many of the things we do in this chamber, in committees, and so forth try to esteem to. We try to work toward value-added jobs.
I remember being on a committee where the Conservatives refused to allow a motion to go forward because of the term “value-added”. Now they have been replaced by a government that not only does not like the term “value-added”, but is working against that proactively. That is the truth of the matter. This is not just about Winnipeg, Toronto, and the region just outside of Montreal, Quebec, in particular.
There are many colleges and universities right now that have worked at transitioning. Look at the auto industry. Diversification has included the mould-making and tool and die organizations in recovery, apart from our aerospace industry. They are value-added jobs where people can go to school, get an education, and at least have a hope of paying for their education. That is a simple Canadian dream that is slipping through our fingers every single day, and the Liberals are complicit in the effort to ensure that the working class diminishes in this country.
Why is it so vivid and so offensive with regard to this? This legislation that we are dealing with just had closure put on it. I remember when the Liberals sat on this side and they complained and grumbled about closure, but then they got over there to that side and it did not take long. It was really swift. This is about an issue that is so important for workers and their families and for young people who want to live the Canadian dream. That dream is to be able to go to school, get an education, and find a place of employment so they can—
Mr. Adam Vaughan: Bet on sports.
Mr. Brian Masse: Mr. Speaker. I just got a critical comment from across the way from the Liberals about betting on sports.
Let us talk about betting on sports, as we did last night, a bill which the Liberals are against. They put up a member who supported that bill, but spoke against it. By the way, the previous Liberal comment from the member for indignation, I think, complained to this House about the provinces not being listened to, and that we have a role. By the way, my bill that would actually take away money from organized crime and put it into health care, education, infrastructure, and training is supported by the provinces. Surprise, surprise.
With no heckling and no catcalls, I would like to have that debate at any point in time. I am willing to do it in this chamber or outside this chamber. I am happy to do that because the jobs that I was talking about before I was interrupted actually count for something that is so important. Again, people can pay off their debt. They can have a family. I was one of those Canadians who felt insecure about their income. I worked for a not-for-profit agency for persons with disabilities. My wife and I held off having children until we paid off our student debt. We delayed having a family for that. These jobs also have pensions. I would like somebody to google the debates of the House of Commons to see how many times pensions have come up. These are private pensions that other taxpayers in Canada do not have to pay for because that is the value-added agreement that those workers achieved with their unions in the collective bargaining process. That gives them pensions in the future so they can continue to contribute to the Canadian economy and open more doors for Canadians.
We also have the mere fact, as I touched on briefly before, that this is actually retroactive legislation. That is so offensive. This would go back in time to cover conditions that were allowed in the previous guarantees of the bargaining agreement.
I guess the next will be if a Liberal gets a speeding ticket, a law will be passed that states that as of last week, it is no longer a speeding ticket. That is the type of thing the Liberals are doing right now. They are undermining a collective bargaining process. That also sends a message to the world. It tells investors about instability. Investors coming into Canada want that stability. It is not about a corporate tax cut. It is about knowing the rules and investing capital in our country. They expect those rules and they follow through with them. Now their competitors will notice a retroactive sweetheart deal because the Liberals happen to be buddying up to their old friends, pals and fundraisers to make something happen that should not happen.
It would be great if we all could make decisions retroactively, for example, if I found out my car was being sold for $2,000 cheaper somewhere else, I could tear up that contract and buy the other car, or if I signed a mortgage deal and at a later date I found a lower rate so I tore up my original mortgage to get the lower rate. We are talking about allowing people to go back and get the lower rate. It does not work that way for hard-working men and women.
We used to have a donkey, a carrot and a stick approach. We have decided to feed the stick to the donkey and keep the carrot. Then when it goes through its system, it leaves something behind that is not good for anybody.
That the amendment be amended by adding the following:
“(e) is being rushed through Parliament under time allocation after little debate and insufficient scrutiny.”
This has been seconded by the member for who has also worked on this file and others related to aerospace, which are very clear and true to our part.
The subamendment is in order.
It being 5:55 p.m., pursuant to order made earlier today, it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the second stage of the bill now before the House.
The question is as follows. Shall I dispense?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Some hon. members: No.
[Chair read text of motion, amendment, and amendment to the amendment to House]
The question is on the subamendment. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the subamendment?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Some hon. members: No.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mr. Anthony Rota): All those in favour of the subamendment will please say yea.
Some hon. members: Yea.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mr. Anthony Rota): All those opposed will please say nay.
Some hon. members: Nay.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mr. Anthony Rota): In my opinion the nays have it.
And five or more members having risen:
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mr. Anthony Rota): Call in the members.