Mr. Speaker, a unique feature in my riding are the rugged and determined cliffs of Bell Island. Even more unique are the rugged and determined residents who continue to fight for the survival of their communities. Now, 52 years after the closure of the Bell Island iron ore mines, less than a quarter of the peak population remains, as people seek to rekindle opportunities in farming and to create new opportunities in tourism and services for retirees returning from military service or from their satellite community in Cambridge, Ontario.
I was delighted to attend Jonny Harris's hilarious and uplifting performance last year as part of a Still Standing episode, where he took a few liberties in celebrating the colourful characters on the island.
Through the Canada summer jobs program, we are supporting 36 student leadership opportunities this summer. I believe in Bell Island and look forward to listening to the community at a town hall on Tuesday, May 15, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at St. Michael's Parish hall. All are welcome.