Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and please allow me to offer my congratulations to Mr. Ng on his appointment to the Cabinet. I, like my colleagues, wish him well and look forward to working with him in whatever portfolios he receives. He has only got one now, but we will look forward to working with the others as he gets them.
Mr. Speaker, growing up in Fort Smith and attending the public schools there, I recall the very large prints of the rugged Canadian landscapes painted by the Group of Seven Canadian artists dominating our walls. Included among those prints were some of the works of A Y Jackson. Mr. Speaker, Members will know that Jackson spent considerable time as a painter in the Northwest Territories, painting such scenes as the Great Slave Lake countryside, the village of Dettah, the young city of Yellowknife, CMNS and Giant Mines, as they were then; and, while at Great Bear Lake, the Eldorado Mine at Point Radium, the countryside around Port Radium, Great Bear Lake and landscapes.
A Y Jackson's paintings have captured forever the beauty, strength, colour and ruggedness of the northern landscapes for future generations. While most of his paintings were kept by the Department of Resources and Development and in the Eldorado collection, a few ended up in private collections. In recent years, our government has been reacquiring these valuable collections, bit by bit. In 1988, most were returned to the north to be housed until a suitable gallery could be found. More recently, they were reunited with the Eldorado collection of some 90 pieces.
In late January, the Commissioner most generously agreed to display them in our Caucus room; a room very well suited and much visited by the public. Mr. Speaker, I sincerely hope that now that we have this permanent Assembly building, the A Y Jackson collection will also have a permanent home here in the place of the people, so that the public can also enjoy this northern asset. I believe this was the intention of the patrons of the collection and I would like to thank the Commissioner for her forethought and generosity in returning the A Y Jackson works to the people of the north. Thank you.