My friend says “the national agricultural policy”. He is always promoting agriculture, but I suppose people want to come here to see agriculture, certain kinds of exotic animals and new strains of wheat and barley. We could get kind of carried away here. Watching wheat grow can be quite an attraction, particularly for my friend from Regina.
In closing, we look forward to enhancing the tourism sector of the country as a way of providing employment opportunities to Canadians who are currently unemployed or underemployed and would like to do something in an exciting field.
To do that I will simply propose that we as the national parliament do whatever is necessary through this legislation and through other initiatives to ensure that we go out and market abroad the natural and cultural features of our great country to attract people from around the world to visit Canada.
They are coming anyway, but we could enhance those numbers significantly with a real marketing campaign at the national level, to be complemented by campaigns at the provincial and territorial levels. They would also invest in creative initiatives to attract people once they arrive in Canada to spend time, whether it is in Quebec, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Yukon or British Columbia. For sure they could come and spend time there.
Once they get into the provinces then it is up to the regional boards, the regional organizations, the chambers of commerce, the boards of trade and the tourism boards to attract people into those areas to visit their points of interest.
Common to all this are the tourist operators themselves. Mainly we are talking about small businesses. They are the main providers of entertainment to visitors to our great country. With those kinds of partnerships I can only imagine how successful we could be. We are already reasonably successful, but we could be really successful with that kind of co-operation.
I think Bill C-5 is a step in the right direction. When we have a board of up to 26 people representing the industry from the private sector, some bureaucrats and so on, we have to wonder if it is the way to approach the situation. However, let us give it the benefit of the doubt. Also, as the legislation goes through committee, let us include an opportunity to evaluate the legislation three years hence. Is the legislation effective? Is the legislation doing what we set out to accomplish? Is it doing what the government has said it could do?
Whatever legislation passes in the House costs taxpayers money. It is important that a review is built into it so that it is evaluated on a regular basis. With that protection I can speak for my colleague for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre and the New Democratic caucus and say that we will be supporting the legislation with enthusiasm as a major step in the right direction, but only a step.