MP Report: Canada needs a true Northern Vision

As MP for Churchill I am always pleased to see any of my colleagues from the House of Commons visit the Churchill constituency.

 In that spirit I was pleased to see Prime Minister Stephen Harper visit Churchill recently.

 The Prime Minister did not make any new announcements. Many local residents were hoping to see an announcement that address the negative impacts of the Conservative government's gutting of the Wheat Board and impending cuts to the Grain Commission. He also did not visit other areas of the Churchill constituency where he would have seen the health, education, infrastructure and economic development needs of our region.

 The Prime Minister did talk about the government's vision for the North. What was apparent was the degree to which the government's vision for the North is limited in scope and leaves out the most important element, Northerners themselves.

 I believe that we need a Northern Vision that recognises that our true potential in the North starts with our people. It starts with taking action to end the third world conditions that many Aboriginal people face. It starts with a greater commitment to our resource based communities and ensuring all Northerners benefit from the tremendous wealth that is coming from Canada's North.

 We need to be investing in infrastructure. So many communities lack the kind of infrastructure that people in the South take for granted.

 We need to be investing in our people whether it is in health or education. We need to be particularly focusing on our young people.

 Canada's vision for the North should also include all the North including Northern Manitoba.

 It is time for a real vision for the North that recognises that so much of the future of our country lies in Northern Canada.