The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill , be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.
Mr. Speaker, today we are debating Bill , the 2023 budget implementation bill.
This Wednesday, the House unanimously passed Bill , which does two things. It doubles the amount of the July GST cheque, called the grocery rebate, even if there is no GST on groceries, and it unconditionally transfers $2 billion to the provinces for health.
When the government introduced Bill C‑46, my Bloc Québécois colleagues and I wondered why the government was doing that. The GST credit is issued in July. Introducing the bill on Wednesday and quickly passing it will not speed anything up. The same is true for the health transfers. We know that Ottawa is not providing sufficient funding for health care. The bill included $2 billion, and it was fast-tracked. That is fine, but we did not understand why the government did that. We figured that it was probably trying to set a trap for the Conservative Party.
However, on seeing Bill C‑47, I was thrilled. We were thrilled. We understood why the government presented Bill C‑46 on Wednesday, with its $2 billion for health and $2 billion for the special GST credit payment. Essentially, Bill C‑47 duplicated this. The government tabled Bill C‑46 and we passed it, thinking that the government would delete the corresponding amounts from Bill C‑47, the budget implementation act, but it did not.
This approach is unprecedented and historic. When it tabled the bill, the government announced it had good news. It told us it wanted to do a little extra for health. It announced $2 billion on Wednesday, and then $2 billion in Bill C‑47, given that it did not remove the clause that had been passed in Bill C‑46. The same thing goes for the GST credit, a payment totalling $2.5 billion. Bill C‑47 contains another payment totalling $2.5 billion.
I was therefore extremely surprised and pleased to see that those measures are back in Bill C-47, which is before us today. The government did not remove them from the omnibus bill, despite the fact that Bill C-46 was passed earlier this week. With Bill C-47, the provinces will therefore receive $4 billion rather than the announced $2 billion and the less fortunate will receive a second cheque, ostensibly for groceries.
We are taking this on good faith. We are assuming that the government did not make a mistake here, that it is really saying that the less fortunate should receive a second cheque to help them deal with inflation and that the $2 billion for health care is to be doubled because so little funding has been provided for that. I commend the government's approach on that. I cannot presume that this is a mistake, even if it is completely unprecedented. There was no press release or communication from the government to announce this good news. It was really after we had passed Bill C-46 that we saw the text of Bill C-47 and realized that the government had doubled these two support measures. We are really delighted about that.
Of course, given the needs in health care, the government is not doing enough. The $2 billion is not enough. The agreements reached with the provinces do not meet the needs. In early 2015, the federal government was funding 24% of health care spending even though it should have been funding 50%. We have learned that the government will still be funding 24% of health care spending 10 years from now. That is not enough.
This speaks to the question of the fiscal imbalance. While the federal government continues failing to carry out its role, despite the additional $2 billion, it is buying up jurisdictions. I would remind members that dental care is a health care issue, which is a provincial jurisdiction. As I was saying, this speaks to the fiscal imbalance. Why is the government not adequately funding provincial health care systems and buying up areas of jurisdiction by creating a new health care program?
That is unacceptable, and we will continue to demand that the government carry out its role in health care and that it respect jurisdictions.
As everyone here knows, the political system that was adopted in 1867 was a federation. Although Sir John A. McDonald wanted a legislative union with an all-powerful Ottawa, the compromise was a federation where each level of government would be equally sovereign, with its own areas of jurisdiction. With this government, which is underfunding health care and always trying to buy jurisdictions, we are left with a legislative union. This is not the spirit of the federation. Instead, it is predatory federalism, as a former Liberal health minister in the Quebec government once said.
Let us talk about the dental care program. We expected to see the new dental care program that had been announced in the budget in Bill . Instead, the program that was announced last fall is being retained, but union members are being told that they will not have access to it. Bill C-47, which is before us today, issues directives concerning dental care. People who have group insurance are being told that, because they are unionized, they will never have access to this coverage, that they are not eligible for the program. This sends a clear message to unions and union members. That is what is new about dental insurance in Bill C-47.
This is a mammoth bill of over 400 pages, and it amends 59 statutes in addition to the Income Tax Regulations. It is huge and affects so many different sectors. I will come back to that shortly.
Normally, a budget implementation bill is supposed to implement the budget so as to put in place measures that were announced. However, something quite surprising was hidden near the end of the bill, and it is not a budgetary measure. I am referring to division 31, on royal titles. I will read an excerpt. Here is what it is written in the budget implementation bill:
The Parliament of Canada assents to the issue by His Majesty of His Royal Proclamation under the Great Seal of Canada establishing for Canada the following Royal Styles and Titles:
Charles the Third, by the Grace of God King of Canada and His other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.
What does that have to do with the budget? This is not the right place to do that. What does that kind of language have to do with democracy in 2023? I wonder. Obviously, the Bloc Québécois does not share that approach. Why hide it at the end of a budget implementation bill?
The Speaker often reminds us never to disrespect His Royal Majesty, by the grace of God. Is slipping this clause in at the end of the budget implementation bill not tantamount to disrespecting His Royal Majesty, Charles III? I am just wondering. Obviously, in light of past decisions and the procedures of the House, I understand that I cannot ask the Speaker to remove this clause. The request would have to come from the government, and obviously, I implore the government to make it.
I have more to say about the monarchy. Right now, as soon as the government makes an appointment by order in council, which it certainly seems to be doing here, parliamentarians can call the appointee to appear before a parliamentary committee in order to examine that person's qualifications. Given that Bill proclaims “Charles the Third, by the Grace of God King of Canada and His other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth”, what could be more appropriate than to call him to appear so we can examine his qualifications before finalizing his appointment?
That is a question that needs to be asked, and I am asking it here. In my opinion, division 31 on the monarchy does not belong in this budget implementation bill.
In the budget, there is an important division on the allocation of $80 billion in funding over 10 years for the green economy. We expected to see details on how the tax credits, the refundable credits, would work, but there is nothing in there about that. It is our understanding that this should involve negotiations with the interested parties. However, Bill gives us an idea of how the government intends to manage those amounts, and it is very worrisome. Through a legislative amendment, the government is creating two institutions that will be responsible for administering the amounts it plans to invest. This money will be removed from parliamentary oversight. Unelected officials will be responsible for selecting the projects that receive support but will not be accountable to anyone. There are no clear criteria.
Is that a good approach? Is it a good idea to give billions of dollars in taxpayers' money to people who are not accountable to anyone? Does that not just open the door to the arbitrary granting of subsidies based on ties with these anonymous decision-makers and the political stripes of the proponent?
Those are questions that I have.
Parliament wants accountability. Members are here to represent the people. When the government decides to use the resources it collects from the people, even if it is to invest in the transition, there needs to be accountability. That accountability is owed to the House and to the committees that report to the House. The approach set out in Bill C-47 will not provide for that accountability. There will be no accountability, and we find that very concerning.
For years, we have been asking that the government stop subsidizing oil companies. Will this money make that happen? That worries us. Think of all the subsidies that go to the nuclear industry. Is Canada's nuclear industry an example of green energy? I think not. Is that what the small modular nuclear reactors are going to do? There is also carbon capture, and so on. These are the questions we have, and we have not gotten any answers. In committee, I questioned the Department of Finance and they said they would tell us how the money would be spent. After two or three reminders, we are still waiting for answers. It is very worrisome.
Today is Earth Day. Bill C‑47 contains very little on environmental protection. It includes an amendment to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act that will encourage oil companies to take their time tackling climate change. At present, the carbon tax paid by major emitters is available to fund green projects in the province where it was collected. If oil companies do not propose any green projects, they lose this money at the end of the year. This approach encourages them to move quickly.
However, Bill C‑47 encourages them to take their time. If the bill passes, the money will be set aside for future use. The government is ensuring that oil companies will not lose any money if they do nothing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. We know that municipalities lose their infrastructure funds if they do not complete their projects by the end of the year. However, oil companies lose nothing if they do nothing. Is this double standard acceptable? I obviously believe it is not. The answer here is clear.
Still on the subject of transition funding, today we learned that Volkswagen is going to get $13 billion to build a plant in Ontario. The Conservatives were right to ask how much each job created would cost. We know that a transition is needed, but we are wondering why the green economy and batteries are going to Ontario. We thought Quebec was at the forefront given the subsidies and the entire ecosystem we have in place. Why did this project not go to Quebec? Why is Quebec not getting its share? We have questions for this government.
The infrastructure put in place does not allow for accountability, and that is unacceptable. Another unacceptable aspect has to do with EI. As we know, the Employment Insurance Act requires that the EI fund not run a surplus or deficit on average over seven years. Since it ran a huge deficit during the pandemic, it must run a huge surplus every year in the years to come.
Last year, the government grabbed nearly $2 billion that belonged to employers and workers. We are talking about unionized workers. The same thing happened again this year, and the budget calls for another $13 billion to be taken away by 2030. Barring an amendment to the Employment Insurance Act to shift the pandemic deficit to the consolidated fund, we are talking about $17 billion that the government intends to take from the pockets of EI fund contributors. This means that it will be impossible to reform the system to make it more accessible. There is nothing in Bill to prevent this tragedy. It is unacceptable.
The government has been announcing employment insurance reform since 2015. The announcement is understandable. Six out of 10 workers who lose their job do not have access to EI. The system is broken. Bill Morneau told us, at the beginning of the pandemic, that EI would not help people to keep buying groceries, that the system was no longer working and that it needed to be replaced. They brought in CERB, which was flawed and more expensive. They are still trying to recover some the money owed to them and so on. This story is not over. We need a new system and fast. The government has been talking about this since 2015, but there is still nothing. There is nothing for eliminating the pandemic deficit, either. Increases are going to keep climbing and the system will continue to work poorly.
Let us talk about other aspects of employment insurance. EI should be able to rely on a real appeal mechanism. What we understand from Bill C‑47 is that the appeal board is the same as the one in Bill . We will look at the details, but we want to reiterate that we need a real appeal mechanism. This extends by one year the measures for the targeted areas during the spring gap, but 60% of people who lose their job still do not have access to it.
We are talking about a 400-page document that amends 59 statutes and the Income Tax Regulations. It has 39 divisions. The promised not to do that anymore. When we get this, we are given a tight deadline in which we have to go through it all, try to understand the legislative language, which is really difficult, consult with all of the stakeholders in Quebec who might be affected to see what they think, and analyze it all. That is a lot. It is very difficult. The government promised in 2015 not do to this anymore. Once again, it is going back to its old ways. We are going to continue looking into this further to see what else might be hidden in there.
Let us look at some examples. The bill enables the Superintendent of Financial Institutions to increase the deposit insurance coverage limit by $100,000, an amount decreed by regulation by this government, but only for one year. In April 2024, he will no longer have that power. Why? Do the Liberals want to introduce another bill? What is this about? We need to look into it. Is the paper version that was given to us as parliamentarians the right version?
Last year, I worked with the paper version only to realize in the end that several dozen pages were missing. I asked the Speaker about it and he told me that the digital version takes precedence over any other. Why bother printing it then, if it is not the right version? That is worrisome.
We are obviously concerned about regional flights, which are very expensive. The increase in fuel prices has pushed the price of flights even higher in the past few years. Instead of proposing measures to make regional flights more affordable, Bill C‑47 would considerably increase the airport security tax. The cost of both international and regional flights will increase. We think this is wrong.
Despite all the pages, measures and laws, there is nothing for seniors or for housing even though the current situation requires that we provide support for seniors and housing. There are many things missing in this bill.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to talk about what the NDP can add to the budget. As we know, the Liberals have been in power for years. They are doing the same thing that the former Conservative government did. They refuse to take action to help people.
This time, the NDP leader, the member for , and the entire NDP caucus, including the member for , were able to work to ensure that we do not have to settle for the same budgets we have seen in the past, budgets that do nothing for ordinary Canadians, but instead give a big boost to the banks and big corporations, just as the Conservatives did. We can see in this budget and in Bill C‑47, which the NDP supports, that dental care has finally been added to the health care system for people across the country. We are talking about $13 billion over five years.
The reality is that, in every riding, no matter where it is located in the country, there are some 30,000 people without access to dental care. Thanks to pressure from the NDP, in a minority Parliament, we were able to ensure that in every riding, those 30,000 people—families, seniors, people with disabilities and young people—can have access to dental care. This is extremely important, and we are quite pleased. Canadians who understand the changes the NDP has made to the budget are also quite pleased because they will finally have the opportunity to have dental care.
That is not all. We exerted pressure on the government to double the GST credit. That is extremely important. Like the member for , I know that people are struggling right now and that they need help. The fact that 11 million families across the country will be able to receive double the GST credit to pay for groceries is going to help a lot because people are having a really hard time.
The NDP is also calling on the government to change our economy and to work harder to have a clean economy, particularly in light of all the challenges posed by climate change. Things clearly need to change. The NDP once again exerted pressure in a minority Parliament to invest in clean energy and for those investments to go toward unionized jobs that come with a pension plan and social benefits. That way, the government will help the whole community by investing in clean energy. The NDP believes that, when it comes time to invest, the investments must help the community. Unfortunately, that is not what we are seeing with the Liberal approach or what we saw with the approach of the former Harper government, as I mentioned earlier.
We also need, and this is important, to change the situation that exists in first nations communities across the country. The member for has spoken about this at length. It is important to make investments there immediately. Last year, we were able to force the government to make these investments, but now we need to build this housing as soon as possible. The government tends to announce programs and then do nothing afterward. This is urgent. The member for Nunavut has told us this several times. We need to take action to bring in these investments and build housing as soon as possible.
There is another thing that I find disappointing, despite the fact that the government is finally closing a tax loophole that cost $600 million a year.
This is something the NDP has been calling for from day one. We obliged the government, forced them to do it. Nonetheless, as I said earlier, most of the loopholes remain in place for the ultra-rich, the wealthy, but also the corporations that benefit from these loopholes. I will come back to that.
The NDP has made a difference in this budget, there is no doubt. I have to speak of somebody I will call Joanne. After I was elected as a member of Parliament, she came to me. She works in the service industry for minimum wage. Her teeth were literally rotting out of her mouth. She was in tremendous pain.
There were no programs I could point to to help her, as is the case with so many Canadians, millions of Canadians across the country, who do not have access to basic dental care. When we look at the average, there are about 30,000 Canadians in each and every riding right across the country.
This constituent, one of my bosses, Joanne, simply had nowhere to turn. She was in great pain. As we know, so many Canadians have to go to emergency wards across the country. The estimated cost in Ontario alone is $1 billion for Canadians going to emergency wards for dental emergencies that they cannot receive treatment for.
The reality of having a dental care program in place, which children and their families, youth, people with disabilities and seniors could all access, in a few months' time would be an extraordinary improvement to our health care system. Tommy Douglas always said that the health care system needs to cover people from the top of their heads to the soles of their feet. The member for , the national leader of the NDP, also believes this. That is why he has been pushing so hard for the dental care program to be put into place.
How could any member of Parliament vote against a dental care program that would help 30,000 of their constituents? I cannot understand where they are coming from, that they would choose partisanship and ideology over the important primary role we have as members of Parliament, in the House, to work to help the people we represent.
That is just one of a number of things that the NDP forced the Liberal government, in a minority Parliament, to deliver to Canadians. We have also forced a doubling of the GST rebate, the grocery rebate, to help Canadians who are struggling to put food on the table at this difficult time.
We pushed the government to invest in a clean energy economy that would create good, well-paying union jobs. The ability to organize makes a big difference, as we know. Whether we are talking about the private sector or the public sector, workers who are organized generally have a higher return, better benefits and normally, as well, access to pensions. That makes a difference not only in their lives, but also in their communities, as unions make a difference in communities across the country.
When members of Parliament stand in the House to say that they do not believe in unionized, organized labour, they are saying to their communities that they do not believe in money staying within the community. Unionized workers have better pay and benefits, and a right to a pension, which means more benefits circulating in the local economy. There are some members of Parliament who would say that they want money to instead go to wealthy corporations offshore, and that they want that money to go to high-priced consultants who would take that money offshore.
New Democrats understand that a local economy is built from the ground up. It starts with good wages. It starts with jobs that actually make a difference in the community. Those people who live in the community shop in the community and spend in the community. That benefits everybody in the community. That is a fundamental difference between us and some of the other parties in the House.
The final point I want to make before I start to talk about the elephant in the room is the issue of housing, particularly in indigenous communities. The member for has been a strong and powerful voice in this regard, as have the member for and the member for . The first nations, Métis and Inuit in Canada have been deprived of the right to housing, the right to have that roof over their head.
The government is moving far too slowly to provide the affordable housing that is fundamentally important for the future of our country. We push, and we add our voices to the voices of the members of Parliament for , and to say that we need to build that housing now.
The money that was pledged last year has not rolled out, and it needs to roll out now. The money that the government is promising in a couple of years needs to be moved up, and it needs to be treated with the sense of emergency that is certainly felt in indigenous communities right across this country.
I am now going to come to the elephant in the room, which is the similarity between Liberals and Conservatives. They have a brand coalition of wanting to conserve a privilege that deprives so many Canadians of the investments that are critical for their future. The Parliamentary Budget Officer told us, just before the COVID pandemic hit, that over $30 billion a year goes to overseas tax havens from profitable corporations and the ultrarich. Members will recall that the Harper regime put that secret network in place to really ensure that as much money as possible could be taken offshore, and it is $30 billion a year, which the PBO said was a conservative estimate.
Now, at $30 billion, it means that over the last decade, $300 billion of tax money was taken offshore. This was put in place by the Harper regime and has been maintained by the current government. This is a coalition of the financially irresponsible, who are depriving Canadians of so many things.
That elephant in the room is something that needs to be dealt with. We have a Liberal government, and a Conservative government before it, refusing to ensure that every Canadian pay their fair share, including Canada's wealthiest corporations and Canada's richest citizens. They should pay their fair share of income tax. It is as simple as that.
A fair share of taxes should go throughout the spectrum and ensure that every Canadian pays their fair share. This would allow us the wherewithal to fund a whole range of things that are not funded now, whether we talk about the dental care plan, which the NDP has brought forward, or pharmacare, which we know would save $4 billion a year for Canadians generally.
The reality is that pharmacare, like our universal health care system and like dental care, makes a difference not only for the individuals and the families involved, their quality of life and their bottom line, but also for Canadian businesses. Our universal health care system has a competitive advantage of about $3,000 per employee for a Canadian business compared to an American business hiring that same employee, because in the United States, if they want to keep that employee, they are going to have to invest in a health care plan. In Canada, those businesses do not have to pay for health care, which is so important for their employees. Dental care makes a difference of hundreds of dollars. Pharmacare would be a difference of about $600 per person. Making that investment in pharmacare is not just smart for the families involved.
We hear the horrific stories from across the country, and the Canadian Nurses Association is telling us that hundreds of Canadians die every year because they do not have the wherewithal to pay for the medication that will keep them alive. I have a constituent family who is paying $1,000 a month in heart medication. We cannot tell them that universal pharmacare would not make a big difference in their lives. They are having that tough choice every month of whether they are going to keep a roof over their heads or pay for their medication, and that is the case for hundreds of thousands of Canadians across the country. Universal pharmacare would make a difference.
How do we ensure that the federal government can do that? Well, we have to start ensuring that we close the massive loopholes that lead to $30 billion every—
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Calgary Rocky Ridge for getting government members to hear this. They need to hear from Canadians that they cannot keep sending $30 billion to overseas tax havens every year. Instead, they need to invest that money in health care and education, ensure that we have universal pharmacare, ensure that there is access to public education and ensure that every Canadian has a roof over their head at night and can put food on the table. They also need to transition to a clean energy economy. Liberals can do that if they close the loopholes, 30 billion dollars' worth a year. I thank my colleague from Calgary Rocky Ridge for telling the Liberals to come into the House.
I want to talk a bit about the dismal record of the Harper regime, because the member for , who is the new leader of the Conservative Party, basically seems to have a motto of “Elect me and I'll do even worse than Harper did.” I looked at what the Harper regime did over the course of that dismal decade. The overseas tax havens I talked about are largely the creation of the Harper regime. It put them into place, 30 billion dollars' worth, and now the Conservatives are saying they do not take responsibility for that.
What else did the Conservatives do? They forced people, manual labourers, to work longer. They basically deprived them of their pension. They ripped apart the environmental framework of this country; there is no doubt. They also ripped local offices away for veterans.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Peter Julian: Mr. Speaker, it is not a laughing matter when a veteran who is disabled has to travel hundreds of miles to get to a veterans office because the local offices have been closed. That is not something Conservatives should be laughing about at all.
That is what the record of the Harper government was: dismal and appalling. It put in place many of the cuts that we have seen, devastating the health care sector.
We reproach, of course, the Liberals for not closing all the loopholes so that we have the money to reinvest in health care. They are starting to do that slowly and grudgingly, but far short of what is actually required.
When we look at the Harper regime and the member for 's pretension that he will do even worse than Stephen Harper, I think Canadians have reason to be worried by his attacks on Radio Canada.
I have no idea why no Conservative member from Quebec has condemned these attacks on Radio-Canada.
CBC and Radio-Canada share sites and facilities across the country. It is absurd to say that they will dismantle the CBC but Radio-Canada will be protected. It is ridiculous, because these two organizations share their resources. If the CBC is abolished or dismantled, Radio-Canada will be dismantled.
Not one member of the Quebec Conservative caucus rose to say that they were against it. Why be elected as a francophone MP and serve in the Conservative caucus if they are not even capable of telling their leader that he is wrong, that he must stop this foolishness with CBC/Radio-Canada and he must stop threatening to crush CBC/Radio-Canada?
I hope that others will speak out, as did the member for , who clearly understood how the extremism of the member for had to be called out. I certainly hope that at least one member of the Quebec Conservative caucus will rise.
That is what the member for is promising. He would do worse than Harper. He would cut more than Harper did. He would keep in place the privileges that billionaires get in this country and the massive transfer of wealth and tax dollars, more than $30 billion a year sent overseas, rather than investing in Canadians.
Of course, colleagues know what an NDP government would do. They have seen some signs of that with 25 members of Parliament under the leadership of the member for . What it would mean is investments in health care, investments in housing, investments in education and investments in our economy, as well as transitioning to a clean energy economy and cutting the privileges that, for far too long, the wealthy and Canada's most profitable corporations have enjoyed.
We would end those massive tax loopholes. We would end the gouging that Canadians are seeing in the telecom sector and the banking sector. We would make sure investments happen at the local level, and we would build a local green economy. Right across the country, we would build a Canada where everybody matters and where nobody is left behind.
Mr. Speaker, one would like to think that things could happen relatively quickly. One would be surprised, in terms of the degree to which we finally got the consensus to get it through the House, in order to be able to support Canadians.
I would point out something that is really obvious. This emphasizes the contrast between the government and the versus the Conservative Party and the . Today, we had a good-news announcement. The federal government is investing in the future, through Volkswagen, by bringing in a megafactory. This will likely be the largest factory in the country. It is estimated that we are talking about literally the size of not dozens but hundreds of football fields. It is a gigantic factory.
I can say that not only is the federal government at the table with this, but so is Doug Ford. He is investing both cash and future infrastructure to support it. There is a reason for that. It is the idea that this is an investment in workers, as well as an investment in the future.
I would like to quote something that the quoted in a tweet. This is his mindset on the issue: “there are no lithium mines, no lithium processing facilities and no lithium ion battery makers in Canada.” We are in essence, the quote says, “a minnow compared to the United States, Australia and especially China.”
Well, that is the mentality of the Conservative Party. It does not understand that this does not have to be the destination. Canada can be a world leader, and that is what this investment is going to do.
It is so short-sighted. Again, it is not that all members of the Conservative Party would think the same way as the leader of the party. Progressive Conservatives may not think the same way, and as I said, we have Doug Ford 100% onside and investing in it.
This is an opportunity for Canada to enter into that green world in a very real and tangible way. We can look at seeing future lithium mines. We can look into a future with many more areas of development. It is estimated that, within a decade, the federal and provincial investments will be returned more than tenfold.
The Conservatives have a tough time thinking of the future or realizing the benefits of an investment of this nature. We can think in terms of the direct, positive impact that this is going to have on the automobile industry in the province of Ontario or in Canada as a whole.
Yesterday, in the chamber, we were talking about the aerospace industry. Members from the Bloc, myself and others were talking about how the provinces of Quebec and Manitoba have benefited. We talked about how important it was and is today that we support our aerospace industry, as we continue to do.
It is also important to support our automobile industry. We can think in terms of the future and the positive impact that this is going to have. I would hope that sometime between now and the next federal election, the Conservatives will have a flip-flop on their position on this issue. The net gains far outweigh the costs of what is being proposed by the and the Premier of Ontario today.
We need to start thinking about the bigger picture. We need to think of the quality middle-class jobs that will be there as we expand in an industry that is healthy for our province and create opportunities from coast to coast to coast. These opportunities may be in mining or parts distribution. All sorts of opportunities will be there going forward because of this investment. We will be working with the private sector, particularly Volkswagen, in building a state-of-the-art factory, potentially the single largest factory in Canada. We need to look at the tens of thousands of direct jobs, let alone the multiplying factor of indirect jobs.
I will continue the next time the bill comes up for debate.