Mr. Speaker, northerners want to move forward in development. Northerners want jobs and want to see young people taking advantage of the training opportunities that come with development.
Yesterday we were at the PTAC conference in Toronto where we met many companies that were working with northerners and putting forward projects. It is important that we move quickly to ensure there is legislation in place that identifies predictable timelines and that allows greater certainty for businesses.
I have seen development in the north first hand. Just outside of Baker Lake we have a gold mine that opened in the middle of a global recession. The Agnico-Eagle company hired approximately 400 or 500 people. That community of Baker Lake had an unemployment rate of about 60% prior to the mining coming into force. Through the partnerships that the mining company established with the community and with the Inuit of that region, we were able to reduce the unemployment rate of Baker Lake to 4% in a very short period of time. People are working. Young people are working.
More northerners want to take advantage of those opportunities. Therefore, it is very important that we support the bill to allow that.