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October 18, 1996
(Development and Rural Renewal)


The Emerald Zone enters into regional economic development board agreement

The new approach to regional economic development continues to become firmly established in all economic zones of the province as the Emerald Zone Regional Economic Development Board becomes the latest addition to the now 16 Regional Economic Development Boards (REDBs) established in the province.

In a public ceremony today in Springdale, Gerry Byrne, MP - Humber- St. Barbe-Baie Verte, on behalf of Lawrence MacAulay, Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (Veterans Affairs), and Judy Foote, Minister of Development and Rural Renewal, highlighted the important role the provisional and permanent board members have and will play in the economic development of their region.

"Regional economic development in this province is a high priority for the Government of Canada," said Mr. Byrne. "The level of cooperation being brought to bear on regional development efforts is considerable and bodes well for the prospects of success. The diverse resources and skills within the two sub-regions of this zone have not been utilized effectively by government in the past. That is all changing. We are now cooperating together effectively to integrate local development perspectives, and you will be the ones partnering with governments to influence development efforts in the future."

In February of 1995 the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced a new approach to regional economic development, as recommended by the Task Force on Community Economic Development. This involved the creation of new community-based volunteer boards to support economic development planning and coordination within specific zones in the province. These Regional Economic Development Boards (REDBs) consist of representatives of municipalities, business, labour, community development groups, education and training institutions, as well as other interests in the zone.

"The excitement surrounding the economic zone process is evident in every region of the province," said Ms. Foote. "The organizational phase of our new approach to regional economic development is now in its final stages with the provisional and permanent board members of the Emerald Zone playing a significant role in making this new approach a reality for the Baie Verte/Springdale area. The future of the Newfoundland and Labrador economy lies in working together and in building partnerships to create and take advantage of new economic and business opportunities. The Emerald Zone board will be developing a coordinated plan of action for the region that will lead directly to new business growth and new jobs throughout the zone," concluded the minister.

The formation of permanent REDBs marks a milestone in this process in which the focus of attention now shifts from the creation of new community-based organizations to the action phase of identifying, prioritizing and implementing new development initiatives that will see all regions of the province strengthened economically.

Proposals to establish 18 REDBs have already been successfully negotiated. These agreements were negotiated considering the boards' work plan, regional geography, population, number of communities and transportation networks.

Financial support for the economic zone process comes from the Canada/Newfoundland Strategic Regional Diversification COOPERATION Agreement which is administered federally by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and provincially by the Department of Development and Rural Renewal.

Contact: Paul Murphy, COOPERATION Communications (709) 772-0219 or Susan Laite, Development and Rural Renewal, (709) 729-4570.

1996 10 18   12:35 a.m.

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