Minister, I want to share with you a little of my personal background. I grew up in rural Manitoba in a town of about 3,000 retired farmers. When I graduated from high school, if the men weren't going to work on their farms, cattle ranches or going to university, they went to Alberta to work in the trades there and bring home a lot of income for their families.
Of course, that isn't happening anymore and it's of grave concern to me, Also, my fiancé works for Manitoba Hydro. Many men I grew up with went on to work with Manitoba Hydro.
Minister, I want to ask you about some troubling remarks concerning gender-based analysis by the Prime Minister, in Argentina, in the G20. He mentioned, “...what does a gender lens have to do with building this new highway or this new pipeline or something?” and “ ...there are gender impacts when you bring construction workers into a rural area. There are social impacts because they’re mostly male construction workers.”
Now, you can understand, particularly for me as my fiancé is one of those guys who goes into rural areas.... I know many of them in my riding do as well. We have many men and women in the trades who go into these rural areas away from their families. They used to go to Alberta but they no longer have that opportunity.
I'm just wondering if you agree with the Prime Minister in his implication that men who go into rural areas have negative implications on women.