Mr. Speaker, not long ago, Canada's natural resource industries were considered the old economy. No more hewing of wood and drawing of water for us, we were all going into that new information economy.
Our natural resource industries have come roaring back and are now the backbone of the Canadian economy. A recent BMO forecast said that economic growth would be the strongest in provinces dominated by the resources sector. The recent 3.5% third quarter increase in Canada's GDP was largely driven by a surge in exports of natural resources from rural Canada.
From mining to energy, from agriculture to forestry, from commercial fishing to trapping and from angling to hunting, these sectors are all carried out in rural Canada. They represent environmentally sound sustainable use at its very best. Interestingly, rural Canada represents about 20% of the Canadian population, but accounts for close to 50% of the value of Canada's exports. Talk about punching above our weight.
I represent a truly rural riding and I am proud of the contribution that rural Canadians and our natural resource industries make to our country.