September 9, 2004
(Transportation and Works)


Minister to attend meeting of Atlantic transportation ministers

Tom Rideout, Minister of Transportation and Works, will attend the Atlantic transportation ministers’ meeting in Woodstock, Prince Edward Island, on September 10.

Minister Rideout said, "I am looking forward to meeting with my Atlantic counterparts to discuss issues relating to transportation. I recently met with federal Transport Minister, Jean-C. Lapierre, and we had an open and frank discussion regarding transportation issues, as they relate to the province. I look forward to more of the same from this meeting with my Atlantic counterparts."

Planned items for discussion include the national highway system and flexibility in federal funding programs, small airport viability, the Canada Marine Act and Marine Atlantic. Minister Rideout said, "Addressing these issues fits well with government’s vision for a rejuvenated Newfoundland and Labrador. Working with my counterparts in Atlantic Canada provides an excellent opportunity to address the issues that will enable our province to build on its enormous potential.

"Flexibility of federal funding for the national highway system is a key concern for our province right now as it relates directly to our ability to improve and rehabilitate our roads infrastructure.

"Our government is working with the Government of Canada to find ways to provide our province with the means to achieve self reliance within the Canadian federation. Improving the province’s roads infrastructure fits directly into that plan.

"I will be asking my provincial counterparts to put Marine Atlantic rates on the agenda for our next meeting. At that time I will be seeking their support to bring forward, to the federal government, the issue of rates charged as an Atlantic regional concern.

"This meeting is an excellent opportunity to communicate with my colleagues regarding the transportation challenges that exist within our province. I will also be working to build support for our position on regional and national transportation issues. I look forward to discussing the issues with my Atlantic counterparts."

Media contact: Lori Lee Oates, Communications, (709) 729-3015 or (709) 690-8403

2004 09 09                    10:55 a.m.

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