Mr. Speaker, I would like to emphasize for my parliamentary colleagues the importance of mining to Canada's economy.
In 1995 the metals and minerals sector accounted for $23 billion worth of economic activity, an amount equal to 4.4 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product. These numbers represent 340,000 high quality, high paying jobs of the future. Indeed, over 85 per cent of those working in the mining industry use advanced technology every day.
Mining pays a higher average wage than any other industrial sector in Canada and these are not seasonal but year-round jobs.
I applaud all those who are working to promote mining in Canada, including the mining industry representatives and labour we saw this week, as well as the Minister of Natural Resources.
I look forward to continuing my work with this industry, especially in Elliot Lake and Bruce mines, both located in my riding of Algoma. Each has undertaken important local projects to preserve and promote Canada's mining history and heritage with tours, historical sites, museums and the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in Elliot Lake.