Mr. Speaker, we are looking, with respect to infrastructure and in my capacity as Minister of Infrastructure, at public infrastructure, whether they be things like schools, highways or transmission lines so that we can get communities onto the grid and not using diesel-powered electricity. Economic development is something that has been highlighted as being of particular importance from all three premiers in the far north.
My colleague, the Minister of the Environment, has responsibility for issues such as pipelines and environmental approvals of this nature in the Mackenzie Valley. This has been something which has been pursued for many years. It has gone through a very lengthy environmental assessment.
Obviously we signalled in previous government statements that it is something we certainly support, but we should protect the environment first. That is why, particularly up in the Northwest Territories, we have done a significant amount on land conservation, including the work that hopefully soon will lead to the successful conclusion of the expansion of Nahanni National Park. We looked at the work done in the Ramparts in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake. We looked at work around the community of Fort Hope, which has fought for special designations to ensure that those sensitive ecosystems are protected long before any new natural resource extraction proceeds.
In the years 2007 and 2008, particularly in the Northwest Territories, we made great strides on that environmental protection. We did a whale sanctuary in Nunavut, which is another important example of conservation.
This is a natural extension of that, so that we can have the capacity to legally enforce and send a message that we will not tolerate ships polluting our waters.