Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a few minutes to talk about the potential for the unprecedented economic prosperity that is at our doorstep, and what our obligations should be to ensure our people have the benefit of that opportunity.
The magnitude and the details on how it can be achieved have been well articulated in the non-renewable resources development strategy. Since releasing the report in early May, the Premier, the Ministers and the GNWT officials have been criss-crossing the whole country selling the idea. It has awakened the interest of many interested parties in the south, who must become our partners, including the Prime Minister, the federal Finance Minister and the Minister of DIAND, not to mention the aboriginal and business communities in and out of the Northwest Territories.
I must add, Mr. Speaker, I am a fan of this strategy. It is comprehensive and clear about the challenges and opportunities ahead for the Northwest Territories. Most importantly, it gives every interested party something to work out of.
However, Mr. Speaker, I think there is an important question that has not been asked. If it were to happen that the federal government and the private industries were to buy into this strategy and make the financial investment, are we ready to take it on? More precisely, do we have the human infrastructure in place to take on this challenge?
When we demand that the mega-companies hire our people, do we have the labour pool that can take it on?
Mr. Speaker, it should be made clear that ultimately, the biggest stakeholders for this strategy are the people of the Northwest Territories. It is our people who need to work the jobs and reap the benefit. Do we have a clear picture of where our people are at? Do we have empirical evidence on how many jobs are going to be created to support these industries? What sort of jobs will be created, whether it be engineers, geologists, miners, heavy-equipment operators, labourers, et cetera? Not to mention all the other sectors in the economy that need to support it. Social workers, teachers, administrators, nurses, doctors, accountants and the list goes on, Mr. Speaker.
Where are these people located? What is their education level? What are their interests in pursuing these fields? What is the extent of their mobility? What is the interest in training to take on these jobs?
I would think this is the minimum level of information the government needs to have to support the industries. This is the kind of information the government must have in order to face head-on the task we will have to become the major player, as well as the beneficiary of this development potential.
Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.