moved for leave to introduce Bill C-317, An Act to amend the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act (Northern Ontario).
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to introduce this bill which was previously introduced by the former member for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing. I am confident that it has the support of both the Liberals and the New Democrats. All we need is the support of the government party to make this happen.
The government has moved forward to increase the number of seats in Ontario, as it has committed and promised to do. I think I speak on behalf of all of the members from northern Ontario, many of them here this morning, such as the member for Thunder Bay—Superior North, who seconded the bill, as well as the members for Thunder Bay—Atikokan, Sudbury andNickel Belt. This is a very important piece of work and an important message to be sent to the commission that will look at how these new ridings will be developed.
We need to ensure that northern Ontario loses no further its voice in this place. It is really important, given the large geography of northern Ontario and the large population there, made up of many aboriginal communities, that we not lose our voice in this place.
Over the last 10 years we have gone from having 15 seats in the House of Commons to having 9, which is a shame. It really reduces our ability to have an effect in this place and to get the kinds of things we need from government to protect that really important segment of the economy that has served this country so well.
It is my pleasure and privilege this morning to introduce the bill and to ask the members of the House of Commons to move expeditiously to support it and ensure it becomes the order of the day.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)