Supporting the local economy in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine by investing in critical infrastructure
Thank you Diane! What a pleasure to be back in the Magdalen Islands with you today to make this important announcement.
But before I do that, I'd really like to thank you, Diane, for all you do every day to represent this riding, this extraordinary community, these constituents of the Magdalen Islands that you hold so dear to your heart and who have welcomed us today with such warmth. I would also like to say that I'm very pleased to be here today. Since 2015, we have been trying to find the opportunity to come and see you for a visit. Ten years ago, I made a family visit here, a summer holiday like so many other Quebecers, to discover the islands, to appreciate their extraordinariness. We rented a little house near Bassin. Of course, I was delighted by the countryside, but more than anything it was the hearts of the people, their welcome, their pride and their unique identity. I really enjoyed myself. Even though I was vacationing and just an MP, I did a little work. I met with fishers here, in the building right behind you to talk about the issues that are dear to your hearts. Last summer, it was COVID, so we did a virtual meeting. I was in Gaspé, but in fact we talked about, the big issue, obviously, the Cap-aux-Meules Port and Quai des Pêcheurs. We understand the extent to which it's a nerve centre, as Diane has pointed out. It's the hub where everything happens. The Islands are all about tourism and fishing. It's an opportunity, a responsibility that we have to ensure the safety and success of our fishers here, and so I made a promise, last summer, that we were going take care of the fishers properly. A temporary wharf has been put in, which will do for now, but a permanent structure is needed. I'm here today to say that we've come through on our promise. We will be investing $40 million over four years to build a new, permanent fishers' wharf that will be used for decades to come.
As Diane said, the last time a prime minister came to the Magdalen Islands was in 1970. It was my father who announced the Cap-aux-Meules Port and launched this idea. Obviously, there was a port, facilities, but this announcement made it a permanent structure, a future in which the federal government was fully involved in the Magdalen Islands. For that reason, I feel touched to be here today, more than 50 years later, to carry on this commitment as a country to these Islands and to the future that you are building every day for these communities and for the Islands' magnificent tomorrow.
This is an announcement today about the future of the Magdalen Islands, ensuring that we invest in a proper fisher’s wharf for the coming decades. $40 million towards a new wharf that is going to ensure safety and success for our fishers. This is something that matters, and it's something that I'm very pleased to be here for.
I'm very pleased to be here today. I look forward to meeting with the people from the Magdalen Islands today.