Honourable Lloyd  Matthews
Minister of Works, Services and Transportation

December 14, 1998

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Premier and I had the opportunity to join my federal counterpart, Transport Minister David Collenette, and Veterans Affairs Minister Fred Mifflin for the official transfer of the St. John=s airport to the St. John=s International Airport Authority. Mr. Speaker, today=s transfer is part of the federal government=s National Airport Policy announced in July of 1994. It provides local interests with the opportunity to assume ownership of regional/local airports. We congratulate Mr. Rex Ledrew and the Board members for their efforts and we wish them future success in assuming responsibility for the operation of the St. John=s airport. Other airports are also included as part of this initiative and are at varying stages of the transfer process. These include Deer Lake, Gander, Stephenville, St. Anthony, Wabush, Churchill Falls, and Goose Bay.

Today, we also announced 18 new highway improvement projects for the province under the existing Canada-Newfoundland highway initiatives. This year=s initiatives will create 900 direct and indirect jobs and will provide contractors with the benefit of early tendering for the coming year. These projects are part of the Newfoundland Transportation Initiative Agreement signed by the federal and provincial governments in 1988.

These projects are important as part of the overall strategy by both the provincial and federal governments to improve transportation infrastructure in the province.

For the benefit of my Honourable Colleagues, I have attached the list of approved projects that have been announced today.

Thank you