Ottawa – Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville – Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, today expressed concern that the federal minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development provided a scripted answer to a question about job losses in Brockville.
“I asked the minister a question about what he is prepared to do to help the city of Brockville cope with the loss of jobs when Proctor and Gamble closes and he stood up and without thinking provided a scripted answer,” explains Brown.
“The minister, Navdeep Bains, could have been talking about anywhere. It would have been more appropriate if he showed some concern and promised to look into the issue.”
On Monday Brown asked the minister what the government is prepared to do to assist the city of Brockville following the announcement that P&G was closing in 2020 or 2021.
Following is the official exchange from Hansard:
Mr. Gordon Brown (Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we learned last week the heartbreaking news that 500-plus Brockville and area residents will be losing their jobs when the Procter & Gamble plant shuts down and moves to West Virginia. The Liberals’ preoccupation with raising taxes, adding a carbon tax, and increasing payroll taxes has forced these jobs out of Canada, and many more will follow. When will the Liberals abandon their high-tax scheme and start helping struggling Canadians? What specifically will they do to help the hard-working people in my riding?
Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we have introduced two budgets that deal with the anxieties and challenges faced by many of these communities. That is why growth is up. That is why exports are up. That is why manufacturing is up. That is why job numbers are up. If we look at the last eight months, there has been 250,000 good-quality resilient jobs that have been created. Our unemployment level has gone from 7.1% to 6.5%. We will continue to work hard for middle-class Canadians, to help these communities, and to make sure that these investments are made in Canada to create good-quality jobs.
Brown notes that he has written a letter to Bains, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Minister Patricia Hajdu requesting their assistance for Brockville.
“I am hoping to get more than just a boiler-plate answer from them,” he said.