Mr. Speaker, 19 years ago today the former Conservative government, with a vision and commitment to Atlantic Canada, announced the creation of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. Known as ACOA, this organization has assisted many communities, organizations, businesses and individuals throughout those years.
Working side by side with provincial governments, ACOA has played a vital role in the economic development of Atlantic Canada. Investments have been made in manufacturing, innovation, tourism and science. I can travel throughout my own riding of Avalon and witness first-hand positive initiatives that are producing solid economic activities which in turn are creating secure employment opportunities.
Throughout the last federal election, Liberal Party members travelled throughout Atlantic Canada attempting to convince voters that our Conservative Party, if elected, would eliminate ACOA. It was another desperate Liberal ploy that just did not work.
ACOA is alive and well under the new government and I believe secure in the hands of our very capable minister from the riding of Central Nova. The voters of Atlantic Canada do not have to be convinced of ACOAs role in the future. It is here to stay.
Happy 19th birthday ACOA. We hope it lives to be 100.