Investment Canada Act sells out steelworkers, but government says thats okay because companies are making money

Ms. Chris Charlton (Hamilton Mountain, NDP): Mr. Speaker, one of the problems, of course, with an omnibus budget bill is that one can pick and choose what one decides to talk about and skim over some of the rest. With the Conservatives, unfortunately, the devil is always in the details when it comes to their budget bills.

I want to ask about two issues in particular that I did not hear the member mention and that trouble me.  …

Second, there are provisions in this budget that also deal with the Investment Canada Act.

The member would know that on a number of occasions I have raised the story of the U.S. Steel buyout of Stelco under the Investment Canada Act where absolutely no production or employment guarantees were met by that company. The government took them to court, and was winning every step of the way, but then folded like a cheap shirt.

How do these Investment Canada Act provisions actually help the people who are now for the third time, in three collective agreement negotiations, locked out by the company?

Hon. Rob Merrifield: Mr. Speaker, it is an absolutely wonderful story that we have with regard to investments in Canada, and for those who come to this country to invest and create opportunities for employment in manufacturing, as well as the opportunity in the long run for Canadians on investments. This is one of the first times in the history of our country that we actually have the floodgates wide open because it is all about confidence. People are going to invest in this country because of the confidence that is here that they would actually be making money.

In fact, I was talking to a group this morning from chemical corporations in this country that are dealing with investments. They are looking at infrastructure builds of $5 billion over the next five years. They are saying that they have corporations all over the world, but the corporations that are making the most money are really Canadian corporations. Why? It is because of the competitive advantage that we are giving them. We are working to make certain that we have the opportunities for Canadians to be able to develop manufacturing jobs and good jobs in the long run. These are one small example of the kinds of investments that are coming into this country. …