Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my statement today is regarding the support of this government, especially in the Inuvik region and small communities and entrepreneurs in the communities who have made an investment to establish their businesses and also operate those businesses in those communities. Mr. Speaker, there is a high cost associated with running any business especially in a small community where you do not have a guaranteed economic base.
Mr. Speaker, I will use as an example, Storr & Sons of Aklavik, which is a family-owned business and was owned and operated by the late Buck Storr and now run by his son, Richard Storr. They have been in business for a number of years. They have served the community by small gravel hauls from Willow River in the Richardson Mountains, and have had the contract to maintain snow removal in regard to the winter road between Inuvik and Aklavik. Yet, Mr. Speaker, they find it harder and harder to get jobs and some opportunities for assurance that they can continue to operate and maintain their businesses in Aklavik, which they have to pay for the equipment that they purchase to ensure that they have equipment located in Aklavik, they have to have a building to house the equipment in Aklavik and they also have to be able to have some assurances for their employees that they will have work, to have a steady workforce in Aklavik. Yet, Mr. Speaker, it is very difficult for them to continue to maintain and operate this family business because of the question about competition from the larger centres, especially in Inuvik and also from outside the region.
Mr. Speaker, we have policies in place which are suppose to protect groups such as these small communities, but interpreting these policies they are more structured to regional projects than to community specific projects. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that we have to relook at the bid process and the contracting process we have in place. I have had a lot of concerns and complaints from other communities, especially in the areas of the aviation sector, who also are having problems to continue to operate their businesses because of not having some assurances that they should maintain their aircraft in small communities and keep them in small communities to supply these services I am talking about versus aviation which has been in place for a number of years in Fort Norman. These are some examples of how the Inuvik region has, we have to ensure that these policies that are in place are working to ensure that we do supply opportunities to our communities and to the individuals who have made a long-term commitment to our communities in regard to ensuring that the equipment is available, and also that jobs are available to our communities. At the appropriate time I will be asking the Minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development on this particular matter. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.