Mr. Speaker, over the past few years northwestern Ontario has been facing several challenges.
The forestry sector has been hit hard. Mills are shutting down, workers are being laid off and communities are struggling to survive.
All the while, our infrastructure is crumbling. New roads, bridges and water and sewer treatment plants are all projects that municipalities are desperate to move forward.
The government must recognize the importance and contributions of our region. For too long, municipalities and businesses in northwestern Ontario have been told what cannot be done.
Today is the day the government can tell northwestern Ontario what it can do.
The government can announce a comprehensive strategy to aid the ailing forest sector immediately, today. It can commit to ongoing funding for super flow-through shares, creating a favourable environment for mining investment. It can provide funding for much needed infrastructure projects in our region. It can close the gap between first nations communities and the rest of Canada.
These are all projects the government can do but the big question for everyone is this: will it?