Mr. Speaker, like all Canadians I am encouraged by the reduction in Canada's national unemployment rate in February. However it is with great concern I report to the House that the riding of Brant was not so fortunate.
Our monthly unemployment rate jumped from 11.7 per cent to 14.1 per cent in February, well above the provincial average of 10.7 per cent.
One way that government can address the unemployment problems of smaller centres is by decentralizing some of its services. In my riding, for example, we have no unique post-secondary institution. Our level of post-secondary education falls well below the national average.
My community could greatly be supported by the location of a federal research and development centre or some other technological institute or agency within its boundaries.
While I strongly support the job creation measures taken in the budget, I believe that decentralization is another proactive step that governments can take to create opportunities in our smaller communities.
I encourage our government to take steps in this direction.