Mr. Speaker, the recent visit to western Canada by the Minister of Finance was billed as an opportunity to gather feedback on western concerns through face to face meetings with community leaders.
I do not know what the protocol was for other stops on the minister's tour, but in my riding of Skeena, B.C., three MLAs and myself were neither notified nor invited to participate. Curiously enough, however, three Liberal mayors were invited. I am sure they provided input to the minister, but surely the duly elected provincial NDP MLAs and the Alliance MP could also have contributed significantly to the discussion.
It is a shame that partisan politics is allowed to interfere with the necessary process to alleviate western concerns on economic difficulties. I for one am quite prepared to put politics aside in working toward common goals and solutions for my region.
Was the minister's true purpose for his western visit not so much to deal with western alienation but to build support for his eventual race for the Prime Minister's Office?