Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the Member bringing this motion forward. And I do think that much of this information exists, but the GNWT needs to make sure it is put together and there's some sort of coherent vision.
As often is repeated in this House, the NWT is in a labour shortage. We have more jobs than people. And the extent of that labour shortage is truly unique. This territory, if you take our GDP per capita, we have one of the highest in the world. No doubt, because we have three diamond mines, but we all know that those diamond mines operate with a large fly in/fly out workforce, and there needs to be more targeted efforts to turn those essentially remote workers into residents of the Northwest Territories.
We also know that our territory has long had a boom and bust cycle. That is one of the main reasons Inuvik is seeing a population decline. Norman Wells, with Imperial closing, is in a similar position. And it raises a lot of fundamental philosophical questions about what to do when demographic trends are happening like this. You know, to a certain extent, we are all -- government can only do so much to buck a demographic trend. Everyone is getting older in this territory, and many people are leaving. But continued population decline in a community, well, it's by definition not sustainable but it also kind of gets to the heart of a cultural identity and what we're trying to do. We are dealing with some large global forces of urbanization and people moving to urban centres, and there's only so much we can do. But I think if we put this all together, and we track those demographic trends, that there are multiple levers and tools you could pull to make sure that, you know, we are not shocking our communities into losing 20 percent of their population as some are projected to do. We are not shocking the opposite way whereas Yellowknife, people come to the urban centre, doesn't have enough housing and gets to a zero percent vacancy rate in its housing. So all of this needs to be looked together with a bit more of a strategic lens, and I believe that's what this motion will accomplish. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.