Mr. Speaker, last week my colleagues and I on the human resources committee went on a very important trip to study labour shortages in Canada. We listened to dozens of witnesses in Vancouver, White Horse, Fort McMurray and Estevan.
I have to underline the incredible energy and remarkable sense of duty of all the witnesses who we had the privilege of meeting. A clear majority of these westerners shared the common view that we need better social programs to support a booming economy.
They asked for affordable housing to retain a labour force for small businesses, which would be good for the economy; for a child care program that would assist single parents to apply for a job, which would be good for the economy; and for more resources to address low literacy so that workers can learn how to read and apply for better jobs, which would also be good for the economy.
The NDP wants to see a prosperous west, not just for the current boom but for the long term, a sustainable west.
The NDP will be there in 2015 to provide answers to westerners' concerns. And yes, that will be good for the economy.