The assumption, Mr. Chair, is that the model of cities is the ideal development model for this idea—so therefore it assumes that rural areas, and small communities are not—and that if you want prosperity you need to move to a big city to get it.
Here in Canada we hear this argument all the time. It is aimed at people who are living in rural areas, on reserves, like most of my people. As someone who was born in the bush and has lived off the land and partakes in the traditional way of life of my people, the idea that I should abandon that connection to the land and home is not one I see as respectful of who I am as an aboriginal person in this country.
Would you agree that most of the social development problems that exist in rural communities, such as poverty, poor diets, substance abuse, and crime, also exist in cities?