Mr. Speaker, I commend my hon. colleague from the great city of Peterborough. I want to talk about a situation that I have run into since being elected back in late June.
In my riding, which is very rural, of course, we have over 100 communities. The largest community in my riding has less than 15,000 people.
In 1992 the cod moratorium in Newfoundland and Labrador resulted in one of the largest layoffs in the province's history. A lot of fishermen aged 40, 50 or 60 years old found themselves without work. At that time, they were described as general labourers. It was difficult to find work as a general labourer in our situation because of these smaller towns, and the choice was not that great. So the emphasis then became retraining. We needed to find work but to do that we needed the skill set to do it. We needed retraining, so it is music to my hears to hear that we now have the Human Resources and Skills Development department, because skills training is essential, especially in our situation with the moratorium. Now people are acquiring skills to get better work.
In this situation with skills development, will the training be commensurate with local job availabilities? In other words, will training also keep in mind the available labour within that market, especially in small rural areas like mine? Will the department look favourably on people who want to obtain certain skills but also be sensitive to the fact that there are certain jobs out there that need to be filled and these people can be retrained?