North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney wants to ensure that as the federal government continues to roll out funding and resources for COVID-19 relief and economic recovery, Canada’s rural, remote and resource-based communities get their fair share, and that it targets sustainable economic development in those regions.
Last fall, Blaney began drafting a motion in consultation with stakeholders in several parts of her riding.
“There’s great, innovative work being done in our small communities,” she said. “Often it’s not to the scale of big projects in Canada’s major centres, but it’s even more important in these communities that the federal government comes to the table.”
The motion calls on the House to recognize and honour that Canada has ‘a rich history of resource-dependent rural communities providing the economic prosperity many Canadians have benefited from,’ that ‘this prosperity has often been at the expense of or specifically excluded local Indigenous peoples and communities,’ and that ‘the future of these resource-dependent communities is at risk due to climate change.’ It then sets out a set of principles for COVID relief and recovery funding: be aligned with the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples; be distributed equitably to all regions of the country; and prioritize projects that have clear environmental benefits, and that can be managed and built locally with long-term local economic benefits.
Blaney has set up a page on her website for the public to find and share information about the motion, and to add their name endorsing it: rachelblaney.ndp.ca/equitable-future
“Tabling this motion opens the door for conversations,” said Blaney. “I hope to see constituents in my riding and also across Canada engage with these ideas, and push their MPs and the government to incorporate them into our recovery plans going forward.”