Madam Chair, it is a pleasure for me to participate in the debate tonight.
I would like to pose a question for my hon. colleague from Cariboo—Prince George. My colleague and I are the two MPs representing the city of Prince George. For those people who do not even seem to know where Prince George is, it is a city that we like to believe is the central-northern capital of British Columbia. It is geographically almost dead centre in the province of British Columbia. People who are down on the lower mainland of British Columbia tend to think that Prince George is in the far north, but that is not really the case.
My colleague and I have raised this issue repeatedly over the last number of years, asking the government to respond. During the opening round of debate tonight I was listening to the Minister of Natural Resources. On a number of occasions during his remarks and in the question and answer period following his speech, he referred to the need for proper planning. That was the way he termed it. He talked about the need for planning.
I can say that my colleague from Cariboo—Prince George and I have repeatedly raised this issue and tried to impress upon the government the need to devote adequate resources to this crisis, only to have it ignored over the last number of years. When we finally do get a take note debate on this epidemic, to have the Minister of Natural Resources stand in his place and suggest we need to talk some more about planning, it is so discouraging.
I want to give my colleague from Cariboo—Prince George a further opportunity to expand upon his remarks tonight and to share some of the hurt and anguish that we see on a daily basis in our ridings in central-northern British Columbia.