Mr. Speaker, the federal government has announced a five-year moratorium on import duties for oil drilling platforms, in order to help the east coast region.
I rise today to encourage the government, and in particular the Secretary of State for Financial Institutions, to immediately extend this program to the eastern Arctic, in order to help that region develop its economy and thus improve the future for people in the communities of Nunavik and Nunavut.
The Makivik Corporation was a key partner in the historic importation of the MV Umiavut , the first and only Inuit-owned class 1 ship. The partners have asked for the duty they paid on this ship to be reimbursed.
Purchasing and importing the MV Umiavut represents a major step toward greater economic and political self-sufficiency for the north.
By immediately announcing a retroactive moratorium on taxation for vessels operating in northern waters, including the Makivik Corporation's MV Umiavut , the government will show that it wants its economic development policy to be fair and equitable in the north.