Mr. Speaker, yesterday was the annual lobby day of keep mining in Canada, an industry initiative to explain the importance of Canada's minerals and metals sector to parliamentarians. At the same time, the new minerals and metals policy was released in recognition of the importance of the mining industry in this country.
Mining plays a key role in Canada's economic well-being and the economic growth of cities such as Timmins, Ontario. It provides 12.4 per cent of total Canadian exports and employs some 341,000 people. Forty-nine new mines are scheduled to open in 1996 and 1997 with the potential of creating 31,000 direct and indirect jobs over the next five years. This will make a significant contribution to this government's jobs and growth agenda.
Thanks to the new policy on minerals and metals, and to other positive measures taken by the government, Canada will get its fair share of foreign mining investments.