Mr. Speaker, this week the residents of the town of Tumbler Ridge in my riding of Prince George—Peace River were informed that Quintette coal mine, the town's largest employer, will be shutting down in August. Unfortunately the combination of low commodity prices and a rise in the Canadian dollar has forced it to close down nearly three years ahead of schedule.
Tumbler Ridge is a small, close knit community nestled in the Rocky Mountains where helping one's neighbour never goes out of style. At this time of crisis, when the economic future of the town and its residents is so uncertain, it is important for all levels of government to lend their support by cutting red tape and encouraging economic diversification projects such as value added wood mills, peat moss extraction opportunities, natural gas facilities, destination ski resorts and increased tourism ventures, to name only a few.
No one is looking for a handout, just a helping hand. Opportunities abound. The challenge is for all three levels of government and the private sector to put their collective heads together to find the right combination that will save Tumbler Ridge.