After eight years of postponement by this government, on a pre-election promise made by Prime Minister Harper in Nipigon in 2007, the Conservatives supported my motion to pass Bill C-61. Today I successfully called upon all parties for unanimous consent to pass Bill C-61 before the House of Commons rises. Without my motion, Bill C-61 would have died. The passage of this Bill is an important milestone, if also passed by the Senate.
I am very excited, as this has been a 35 year project for me. I helped to introduce this idea in 1980 and have stayed on it through many stages, including the creation of the Lake Superior Binational Program with Jake VanderWaal, as the first Canadian Co-chair of the Lake Superior Binational Forum, then as the member of the Boreal West Roundtable representing tourism during Lands for Life, and now as the MP for Thunder Bay- Superior North. I thank all parties for their unanimous support. I very much appreciated a phone call from Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Environment & National Parks, thanking me for helping in getting this bill through the House in these final days. I also want to thank Mayor Richard Harvey for his support in both Nipigon and Ottawa.
Now I am working on getting a similar fast track through the Senate. If we can get it through the Senate, it will mean many positive benefits for communities through Thunder Bay east through Terrace Bay, including Red Rock, Nipigon, Dorian, Rossport, Schreiber, as well as Pays Plat and Lake Helen First Nations. Those benefits include protection of the islands, marine ecosystems, fisheries, and threatened species, along with an injection of tens of millions of federal dollars, the creation of new jobs, and a new Administrative and Interpretive Centre in Nipigon. I urge citizens to email, write, and call Senators immediately.