Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday I had the privilege of hearing Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, speak at the Canadian Club of Ottawa.
This was the first speech in a Canada-wide tour sponsored by First Air in which Mary Simon addresses, besides misconceptions about Inuit--we do pay income taxes--the challenges we have in our communities, about climate change and mostly about how we can help with sovereignty in our Arctic.
Mary also rightly pays tribute to the incredible adaptability and resilience of Inuit. We have survived much and we will continue to do so.
Mary Simon did make reference to the “use it or lose it” slogan of the Prime Minister in reference to the north. Inuit wonder if the Prime Minister is unaware that we have lived, hunted and provided careful stewardship of the land and wildlife for hundreds of years before he realized we existed.
Investment in Inuit education, quality of life and economic development would be a much better way to show sovereignty of the north as opposed to merely investing in military hardware.
I encourage those who can attend these speeches across Canada to do so, to hear what message Mary has for all Canadians.