Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of Canada must have been joking when he recently told world leaders gathered in Davos that the Canadian economy is no longer dependent on the country's natural resources.
Indeed, at the same time, his government was announcing that a large part of Devco's mining operations, on Cape Breton Island, would stop for good.
The reality is as follows: raw materials and their by-products still account for 35% of Canadian exports, which is more than for any other G-7 country. The transition from a resource based economy to a knowledge based economy has begun, but it is obviously not completed.
Devco is a perfect illustration of the Canadian government's inability to manage this industrial change. No economic diversification programs were implemented to provide alternatives for those who suddenly find themselves out of work.
The Canadian government must take responsibility for this failed economic transition. In the case of Devco, Ottawa must treat the communities affected with the dignity to which they are entitled.