Mr. Wayne Gates: Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing me to speak today. I’d like to use my time to highlight something I see happening across my riding and across the province.
We’re seeing people really starting to support their local communities by buying local. They are turning to local farmers’ markets, local wineries and local workers, to highlight a few examples. They are even going on staycations, where they stay at home and see their local sites and entertainment, giving back to their community and the tourism sector. I’ve been calling on communities to buy local for years. I’m very happy to see that so many people are supporting that initiative.
In my riding, I’d like to commend Dan Patterson, president of Niagara College, for opening up their pre-qualifying bid process to allow bids from local contractors. This kind of thing creates an opportunity for skilled tradespeople who live and work in Niagara. By expanding their list of pre-qualified bidders, they were able to include two local companies. By making room for locals and supporting our local electricians, construction workers and builders, we’re making sure good, decent jobs get back into our communities.
I’d like to see this trend continue, especially with our new hospital in Niagara Falls. I’d like to see this province buy local and support our local wineries and our local arts and culture across the province. By taking into account areas where there is high unemployment and by focusing on buy-local strategies, we can put good, hard-working Ontarians back to work.