Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to stand in this august place and speak tonight.
One of the news items today was about the cancellation of the Teck project in Alberta. This is devastating news in Alberta. It is devastating news for the whole country. This is a big mining company, one of the largest in Canada, which had invested more than $1 billion over 10 years on this project. It would have spent another $20 billion developing this project with another 7,000 jobs created. It would have meant hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue across the country. That could mean hospitals, schools and roads all over this country from this project.
The company withdrew because it could see that the government was not going to approve it. It could see that there is no reason to invest in the resource sector in this country any longer. It is also a huge message to other organizations and companies outside of this country that say this is not a country to invest in, that this is not a place they want to do business. Billions have left. Billions will not come again.
Another topic is the prison needle exchange program that the government is planning to do. There is a large penitentiary bordering my riding. Many people work in that prison. This is a place where there is not supposed to be drugs. We know there are drugs. There is a place in a hospital setting, a safe setting where they can do drug exchanges in that centre.
However, handing out needles puts staff at risk. The people we pay to take care of prisoners in our jails are now at risk. There is a risk of being poked by a needle if staff members search a prisoner's room or clothes. This means they will have to take a litany of drugs for prevention. This is a horrendous idea.
For prisoners who are addicted to drugs when they go into prison, this is an opportunity for them to get off drugs. Now, this needle exchange program just encourages drug use. Instead of the possibility of prisoners getting off drugs, there will now be even more prisoners on drugs as the needle exchange is permitted in the jails. This is a horrendous idea and should not happen.
This puts many people who work in a tremendously stressful job at risk. The stress this causes is horrendous.
I have one more thing I would like to mention, and I know the parliamentary secretary thinks we are talking about $5,000 pictures, but not tonight. We are talking about more urgent issues, and we will wait to see how he responds to my question on $5,000 pictures.