Madam Chairman, I hope you do not mind, but I will start my presentation by sharing a map. This map transcends political boundaries. There is no language on it. Because of the satellite imagery technology that exists today, it is available to us. It is in printed form for us as parliamentarians. However not one of our committee rooms or other rooms has a map of Canada in it.
In order for us to make our place on the planet, and we always want to say we are not Americans, why do we not put a map of Canada somewhere in a northern location. We are a northern country. We are from the northern hemisphere. If we stand at home and look at the world, our home is to our back. I propose a map be hung in one of the committee rooms. We could dedicate a committee room with a map of the natural resources and natural waters of Canada as a gift to Canadians.
In some of these committee rooms it might spark an initiative. Maybe somebody in downtown Toronto would start to see that the islands in the north are a part of our decision making. We have Quebec, the St. Lawrence region, the Hudson Bay watershed, the Mackenzie River watershed and the whole west coast watershed in the Yukon.
It is an astounding lesson. As a young person I have always been interested in land and water. I was a surveyor and was working in the mines. I can always find something new on a map. It could be an oil company, a mining company or a forestry company but there are always new discoveries.
As decision makers we are lacking vision. We have not created an image of our own country, region and territories. This is a huge mistake. My riding is Churchill River but when I enter the House I assume a responsibility for all of Canada. This is what needs to be done here.
Terminology is also very important. I spoke with the minister responsible for rural development. I have always challenge words about the regions of Canada. The three regions which were mentioned in the throne speech were urban, rural and northern. The north is a unique region of its own. It is not rural. We are trying to be urbanized but we are really not urban either. The north is a unique opportunity, a unique lifestyle and a unique climate. It is everything in its own. The north has enough weight of its own.
We have a northern minister who is in charge of the territories north of sixty. We have huge regions in the northern half of the provinces where there is no federal ministry in charge. That is why I challenged the rural minister because he had his remote community added on to his portfolio.
It is time we co-ordinated ourselves with our provinces as well, from Labrador to Quebec to Ontario to Manitoba to Saskatchewan to Alberta to B.C. and to the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. All these regions should not only have a resource development and community development vision, but also social and human development vision. It all comes hand in hand. We cannot do it separately. We cannot leave legacies like Uranium City in my riding which had a huge mining operation. It looks like Beirut today. The mining company pulled out.
The federal government was also responsible there because it started out as Eldorado, a federal crown corporation. However if anyone went there today they would see that it looked like Beirut. It is time to clean it up. We have to go back.
Speaking of going back, a comment was made by one of the members. There is a need for co-ordination in this country which does not really exist yet. There are little sparks of it. However in 1909 it existed. Let us go back in history. In 1909 there was a body called Canadian conservation council which existed for about 12 years. Then it fell apart because the bureaucracy of our nation's capital took exception to it. It was getting too structured and competing against other people's hierarchies. It is time for us to go back to it.
It exists in Bill C-5, the endangered species legislation. There exists in that bill the Canadian endangered species conservation council. It is made up of three ministries, fisheries, environment and national parks-heritage, and the provincial ministries that are in charge of wildlife.
We should expand that council to include members of the Senate and members of the aboriginal nations. Then we would embody everything in this country and encircle all of this: on reserve, off reserve, provincial, territorial, Senate and both houses. We could create a conservation council that would look at sustainable development, economic sustainability, the conservation of our economy, the social and human needs, the conservation of our population in our young children and their future, plus the ecology which is the most important part because it is the land. It is the land that gives us the source of life and the source of our riches.
When we enter the parliamentary restaurant there is a picture of a pyramid. At the top is the capital and credit of this country, all the money stacked on top. At the bottom, which holds it up, is the territorial lands of this country. Unless we rationalize and balance all of this it will be off balance.
I look at my region. We have forestry, mining and the hottest uranium mines in the world, in fact the most uranium in the world, but all our paycheques are flying over our heads. They are going to Prince Albert and Saskatoon. Our roads in our communities are the worst and the most dangerous.
Our community was a social experiment where they did not want to create Uranium City, a mining town. The policy was to fly in their workers from small villages in the north, train them and it worked. However it started to abandon those pick-up points and started going to the major centres. That is where it went wrong.
Those fleets of planes that sit empty today could fly our workers into the tar sands. The tar sands need human resources and labour. We are just next door. We get the ecological footprint of the tar sands. All our weather comes from the west and so does the pollution which comes from the tar sands. It affects us ecologically but not economically.
To try to grab those jobs in Fort McMurray, the town of La Loche with 4,000 Dene people used its human resources training money to build a road to the border. The Dene people's own training dollars built that road. Now it did not go through to the tar sands because Alberta did not fulfil its agreement to build that road.
As a nation it is time that we start to plan our resources and look at our real resources from the right perspective so that we can show our uniqueness if an American comes to our committee room and asks what it is. Americans are used to centring the world from Texas. That is the centre of their world.
I would like to leave a legacy. When we talk about resources, from here on in let us measure what we are talking about and use the right image. It is missing on the Hill.