Back on March 12, my private member’s motion, M-183 Canadian content levels for public transit, was unanimously passed by the House of Commons.
The amended motion reads as follows: “That, in the opinion of this House, the government should develop a policy, which respects Canada’s international and internal trade obligations, where applicable, and respects provincial and territorial jurisdiction to support Canadian content levels in public transit projects by supporting domestic labour market and suppliers while ensuring that public funds are used to provide the best value to Canadians.”
I am extremely pleased with the support I have received from across the riding, and indeed the entire country, for a Canadian content levels policy.
The issue has truly come to the forefront and has garnered recent attention in both the Ontario legislature and the Quebec National Assembly.
Late last month, the Quebec government announced its participation in the renewal of Montreal subway cars will be conditional on Canadian content levels of 60 percent.
That decision compels the Societe de transport de Montreal to include a 60-percent Canadian content requirement in the upcoming tender for the project.
On the same day, the Ontario government announced a 25-percent Canadian content requirement for future transit vehicle purchases that receive provincial funding.
Clearly, the message is beginning to resonate and progress is being made.
Having said that, I am under no illusion that this issue is now resolved so I will continue my work to ensure a national policy is developed.
The next step will require a House of Commons committee study that would hear from all parties and prepare recommendations to the government on what the federal Canadian content levels policy should include.
I am hopeful this study will begin sometime in the spring as it would provide an opportunity for manufacturers to outline the challenges they currently face because of the lack of domestic content policies in Canada.