Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the work of the people in my riding of Nipissing for their efforts to save CFB North Bay. In recent weeks there has been a remarkable team effort made to inform the members of this government about the consequences of the NORAD facility leaving our city.
Our most powerful weapon has been the co-operation that has existed between all the stakeholders. So far we have received over 16,000 signatures on a petition to save our air base. This grassroots support is echoed across our community. It extends from the affected employees and their local unions to our city council and our business community.
This support has been essential in allowing Mayor Jack Burrows and I, along with the valuable assistance from North Bay MPP and Ontario Premier Mike Harris, to bring a strong and unified message to Ottawa.
This issue crosses political and ideological lines as we fight collectively to save hundreds of jobs in northeastern Ontario and northwestern Quebec.