Mr. Speaker, the friendship of the communities of Stewart, British Columbia and Hyder, Alaska represent the best of our friendship with our American cousins. The towns are interwoven and deeply connected.
However, on April 1, the Conservative government decided to close the vital border crossing between Stewart and Hyder for eight hours a day, cutting off these two intertwined communities, one from the other. The Conservatives did not consult with the local community or businesses and the government admitted it would not even save any money by this action.
The local businesses in the region have been clear that it will cost jobs in tourism, mining and other pillars of that small community. If the situation does not sound ridiculous enough already, last week the state of Alaska voted to offer to pay Canada to keep the border open 24 hours a day.
When it comes to respecting our friendship with the United States and protecting the jobs and safety of northern communities, the Conservatives are an embarrassment. The people of Stewart and Hyder deserve better. Conservatives must change this idiotic decision, but rest assured, a New Democratic government will come through for the people of Stewart and Hyder when we form government a little later this year.