Exchange between Ashton and Clement during Question Period on November 18, 2010

Ms. Niki Ashton (Churchill, NDP): Mr. Speaker, how about saving our jobs?

Yesterday the industry minister called Vale's announcement to cut 600 jobs “good news”. Today in the House he talked about it being an iron-ore mine coming to the end of its life. It is a nickel mine and we are talking about the closure of the surface operations.

Will this minister apologize to the residents of Thompson? Will he follow the example of the Premier of Manitoba and will he work with us to save our jobs in our community?

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is aware, I believe she is participating in a meeting this afternoon with my officials to at least get the facts on the table.

I have informed her already in this House that I am having a discussion with the government of Manitoba this afternoon to get its take on the situation, and I have offered a meeting with the MP herself at the appropriate time so that we can confer on this situation as well.

The context of this, however, is that the announcement that is so affecting her community in a negative way is also part of a larger announcement where thousands of jobs will be created throughout the rest of the country. I know she has to defend her people. I understand that, but this is good for Canada in the overall--