Mr. Speaker, on March 15, the Prime Minister of Canada went to Val-d'Or. He attended two meetings and had an opportunity to listen to many requests made by the people of the vast riding of Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik.
He was told about many things, including: the importance of assistance for mineral exploration and the mining sector; the urgent need to resolve the softwood lumber crisis; the need to help the agricultural sector; as well as the need for support for projects benefiting the James Bay Cree, the Inuit of Nunavik, the Algonquians of Kitcisakik and Lac Simon, and the native friendship centres in Val-d'Or, Senneterre and Chibougamau.
The Prime Minister was very attentive to the requests coming from our large resource-based region, and asked many questions about the issues.
In particular, he noted two major concerns of the region: the first is economic development, which involves the forestry, mining, and agri-food sectors, and the native peoples and Inuit; the second is the issue of native and Inuit education.