Wintertrails improvement program announced
The snowmobile trails throughout Labrador that serve as the winter ground transportation network will receive a lot of attention in the coming months as a result of a $500,000 approval under the Comprehensive Labrador COOPERATION Agreement.
The announcement was made October 23, by Lawrence O'Brien, M.P. for Labrador, on behalf of Fred Mifflin, Minister for Veterans Affairs and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and by Beaton Tulk, Minister of Development and Rural Renewal.
The wintertrails program will make improvements to existing snowmobile trails throughout Labrador including the installation of proper signage, trail widening and the construction of warming huts. These improvements are expected to result in greater usage from tourists. As well, these improvements will ease the movements of commercial activities between coastal communities in the winter freeze-up months.
"Commerce in Labrador is not restricted to particular seasons," said Mr. O'Brien. "The wintertrails program is designed to increase the economic potential of the winter highways in Labrador in two ways. The growing market for adventure tourism will find the improvements to the trail system in Labrador very attractive. As well, the movement of goods and services between communities will be greatly enhanced though this program."
A significant portion of the financial support announced will be used to purchase proper grooming equipment for the trails. The intent is to purchase similar equipment for all trials so that cost-savings can be realized by buying in volume. Uniform equipment will also lessen maintenance costs.
Mr. Tulk said: "The maintenance and upgrading costs associated with snowmobile trails in Labrador are far outweighed by the economic benefits derived from the system. The immediate impact of the program is the that jobs of nine groom operators will be maintained and 15 additional short-term construction jobs will be created. The improved services will afford the private sector opportunities to increase the quantity and quality of services it offers the travelling public."
The Canada Newfoundland Comprehensive Labrador COOPERATION Agreement is a 70:30 cost-shared agreement between the federal and provincial governments respectively. The agreement is administered federally by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and provincially by the Department of Development and Rural Renewal.
Paul Murphy, COOPERATION Communications, (709) 772-0219, or Clifford Grinling, Development and Rural Renewal (709) 729-7066