Thank you very much, Mr. Iacono, for giving me some speaking time.
I thank all of the witnesses for being here with us.
Hello, Mr. Jones. Thank you for taking part in this meeting. We have spoken before on several occasions. I also thank you for playing the role of ambassador for the Lower North Shore. I wanted to say that today because it's historic for us and for the Lower North Shore, which is located in my riding. It's a very vast area. It covers 350,000 square kilometres and includes 400 kilometres of coast. I wanted to provide some context.
Within those 400 coastal kilometres, there are people who refer to themselves as “coasters”. There are also two Innu nations who live there, the Unamen Shipu and Pakua Shipu nations. We talked about people who live in remote areas, but on top of everything, these people are cut off from the continent. We do say “continent” back home, both in English or French, and Innu. We talked about the consequences of climate change. I think that Mr. Jones would agree with me that all of the consequences, be they economic, social or cultural, are immense. We're talking about survival. We aren't just talking about development, which is the key to survival.
I'm going to open a sidebar to my colleague Mr. Aubin's intervention; he spoke about climate change and its repercussions on the development of infrastructure. We can't consider development in remote areas like this in the same way as we look at development in urban areas. It is different.
Mr. Jones, you are the ambassador for the Lower North Shore, Gros-Mecatina and La Tabatière. I would like you to give us an idea of what development means in the region of the Long Range mountains, notably what is called “ the buckle”, not only from the economic perspective, but also the social one.
When you say that the population is cut off from the continent, that does not only mean that the food isn't fresh, but that sometimes there simply isn't any. It happens that people can't get out when they are sick and deprived of all services. The young people, who don't have access to education, are leaving.
I would like you to describe the situation on the Lower North Shore further, and what it means. We aren't making additional requests; we don't even have basic infrastructure. You will agree with me, since you tried to mention it several times, that the Government of Quebec, the people of the North Shore, as well as all of the elected representatives, federal and provincial, and the Innu and Naskapi chiefs, are favourable to the project and are themselves applying the necessary pressure to see it go forward.
I'm sorry I spoke so long. Could you, for the people who are present here, give us the real picture of the situation on the Lower North Shore?