Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)
Madam Speaker, that was a well laid out speech and interesting comments, especially laying out the history of what has happened in the long fight that B.C. has had to make, in terms of actually attracting some investment and some interest from the federal government. The member talked of the Asian markets. The importance of Asia has never really been matched by the intent of this government to focus on British Columbia. We all famously remember the Prime Minister declaring that if he did not fix western alienation, he will have deemed himself to have failed.
My question is around the timing of this announcement. We have seen an unprecedented number of visits from ministers to the west coast, oftentimes not matching the amount of hot air and rhetoric with actual spending and program funding . I wonder if the member can comment on the timing of this announcement, in the context that the government has had a dozen years to really get serious about west coast ports. On the committee and several subcommittees to be set up, what are the odds of avoiding complete failure? We have become very suspicious of patronage appointments and order in council appointments. What legitimacy will the committee have on the west coast if Liberal friends, sponsors and donors are placed on the committee? How viable is this in view of the $400 million that the committee is meant to be in charge of? How much confidence does the member have and how much confidence should the people of British Columbia have in this plan rolled out today by the government?
Subtopic: Pacific Gateway Act