BACKGROUNDER
Labrador ~ Commitment, Progress, Confidence

Since taking office in 2003, the Provincial Government has made steady progress in establishing solid economic and social infrastructure to help Labradorians capture the opportunities presented by the regions’ strong resource base and skilled, innovative communities.

Listening to Labrador Voices

  • A branch of the Premier’s Office established in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to ensure a direct conduit between Labrador and Premier Williams on the priorities and concerns of Labradorians.
  • "Listening Tour" of North Coast communities by Premier Williams and Minister Joan Burke during the summer of 2004.
  • Two-day Cabinet retreat (March 7-8, 2005 in Labrador City and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, respectively), including face -to-face meetings with over 30 community leaders to hear about the region’s issues and priorities.
  • Premier Williams led consultations in November 2005 with Aboriginal leaders and Aboriginal women and advanced their issues at the First Ministers’ Meeting with National Aboriginal Leaders in Kelowna, B.C.
  • Premier Williams hosted public meeting with Labradorians in Labrador during November 2005 on the proposed Lower Churchill development.
  • Premier Williams advanced Labrador issues during the recent federal election, including Lower Churchill development, 5 Wing Goose Bay, the Trans-Labrador Highway and Sheshatshiu Reserve creation.
  • Ministerial Advisory Committee on Labrador Transportation established in February 2006 to develop a comprehensive Labrador Transportation Strategy.
  • In June 2006 the Provincial Government released a discussion paper to aid in the development of a Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador.
  • On April 20, 2007, the Provincial Government has fulfilled its 2005 Speech from the Throne commitment to develop a Northern Strategic Plan to address the needs for social and economic development in Labrador.
  • Premier Williams held a Cabinet retreat in Churchill Falls in September 2006 to discuss issues and to meet with community leaders.
  • On February 7, 2007 the Ministers Responsible for Labrador Affairs and Aboriginal Affairs attended the Northern Development Ministers Forum in Whitehorse, Yukon to discuss a variety of common issues experienced across the north.
  • Assistant Deputy Minister (Labrador Affairs) position re-established in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in November 2005.
  • On November 8, 2006 a public relations specialist position was created within the Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
  • In February 2007 the position of deputy minister for Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs was successfully filled in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Strengthening Labrador’s Economy

The Provincial Government has made strategic investments to strengthen Labrador’s positioning for long-term economic growth.

  • A new senior government position and supports in Labrador West was created within the Department of Natural Resources to serve Labrador’s mining, agricultural and energy sectors.
  • $300,000 over three years to support for Destination Labrador, to help promote Labrador as a tourism destination.
  • Participation in annual Northern Development Ministers Forum. Ministers attending the Northern Development Ministers Forum announced on February 14, 2007 that this provided to be an excellent opportunity to discuss issues and opportunities facing Canada’s northern regions with specific emphasis being placed on education, employment, transportation and the promotion of northern tourism.
  • Labour Relations Agency working to resolve labour disputes at the mines in Labrador West.
  • Ministers attended the Nunavut ministerial visit which took place in Iqualuit, Nunavut on February 19-20, 2007. The purpose of the discussions was to look at potential alliances and economic opportunities in areas of mutual interest. Considering the geographic proximity and similar cultural landscapes of the jurisdictions, there is the potential for opportunity to forge future cooperation and partnerships in the following areas: transportation, economic development initiatives, and the sharing of best practices.
  • The Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development contributed funding for the following initiatives:
  • Explore Labrador CD-ROM project to market Labrador businesses and opportunities ($15, 329)
  • Iqualuit Trade Show delegation to promote linkages between Labrador and Nunavut – ($ 8,768)
  • Expo Labrador 2006 Conference and Trade Show in Happy Valley-Goose Bay ($25,579)
  • Eco-Tourism Conference in Labrador City in partnership with the Protected Areas’ Association of Newfoundland & Labrador – ($4,663)
  • Northlink Project 2006-2007 – funding to complement the implementation of the Northlink’s 2007-2008 Strategic Plan ($32,500)
  • NOIA Conference in the Labrador Straits – funding to host the international conference with a focus on innovative solutions to ensure the survival of small coastal communities ($21,125)
  • Marketing Initiative for Goose Bay Airport – funding to assist in the re-branding of the Goose Bay Airport Corporation ($23,250)
  • North Eastern Corridors Transportation Study – funding to complete a study outlining opportunities for the province in relation to the export of goods and services to Nunavut and the entire circumpolar region ($27,700)
  • Industrial Park Expansion in Labrador City – funding to expand the industrial park in Labrador City by seven lots to meet the growing demand for business expansion ($125,000)
  • In excess of $150,000 over the last three years to host capacity building sessions for Community Economic Development groups since 2003. These workshops dealt with issues such as board governance, legal issues and conflict resolution. Originally designed for Regional Economic Development Boards, these workshops can be altered to fit any organization involved in community development
  • $753,750 in core administration funding to Labrador’s five regional economic development boards over the past three years
  • Transportation Infrastructure

    • Chip seal surfacing test and performance evaluation completed on 15km of the Trans-Labrador Highway Phase I.
    • Trans-Labrador Highway Phase III: approximately 119km of 280km of highway has been completed. The bridge over the Churchill River is 100 per cent complete. Anticipated total cost is $110 million.
    • $2.7 million announced in Budget 2006 for provincial road projects in Labrador, including rehabilitating bridges at Trout Brook, Pinware River and Forteau Brook.
    • $50 million committed in December 2005 to cost-share with the federal government the surfacing of the Trans-Labrador Highway from Labrador West to Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Surfacing of the Trans-Labrador Highway from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Labrador City-Wabush is estimated to cost in the order of $100 million, to be shared equally by the federal and provincial government. The project is expected to take up to five years for completion. Government will invest $15 million (cost-shared with federal government) to commence hard-surfacing this summer.
    • Strong lobbying encouraged federal government to designate the TLH part of the National Highway System, eligible for ongoing federal funding for construction and upgrades. The Minister of Transportation and Works met with federal ministers on August 7, 2006 to reaffirm the Prime Minister’s earlier commitment to Premier Williams to cost-share completion of the TLH, and also committed to sign an agreement by the end of the year.
    • Government continues to pursue the federal government for funding to surface the Trans-Labrador Highway between Happy Valley–Goose Bay and Labrador City-Wabush. On November 28, 2006, the Minister of Transportation and Works stated that it was anticipated that the hard surfacing would commence during the summer of 2007 and that construction of Phase III would be completed in the fall of 2009.
    • Construction of a new highway maintenance depot in the Red Bay-Lodge Bay area to house specialized snow clearing equipment ($1.5 million). Further $700,000 to increase snow clearing efforts on this section of the Trans Labrador Highway.
    • Improvements to the Labrador Marine Service, including ferry passenger and freight enhancements ($45,000), a refrigeration system for the Northern Ranger ($17,000) and ferry dock upgrades for Postville and Cartwright-Port Hope Simpson ($536,700). $2.8 million to complete vessel refits for the MV Sir Robert Bond and the MV Northern Ranger to ensure the safety of marine services for Labrador.
    • Early release of Labrador Marine Service schedule for 2005, 2006 and 2007 shipping seasons. The Labrador Marine Coastal Service was announced on January 16, 2007 by the Minister of Transportation and Works. The early release of the schedule will have a positive impact on the tourism industry as well as provided an extended operating service for residents who rely on the marine service for transportation and delivery of goods. The reservation service for the extended marine season became effective on January 23, 2007.
    • Announced on February 27, 2006 was the formation of the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Labrador Transportation which was tasked to make recommendations on how best to address future Labrador transportation needs. The committee was allocated $325,000 in the 2006 budget to develop a comprehensive Labrador Transportation Strategy. In October 2006 government released the consultation document for the Labrador Transportation Strategy which is nearing completion.
    • Rigolet fuel infrastructure ($20,000).
    • Airstrip rehabilitation and equipment for north and south coast communities ($718,900).
    • Winter trails grooming grants ($240,000 annually).
    • Budget 2006 included $759,000 to extend the operating season of the Straits ferry service (from St. Barbe to Blanc Sablon) by four weeks. The ferry service between St. Barbe and Blanc Sablon was extended until ice conditions closed the crossing for the season on January 24, 2006. The Apollo began its operational season for the Straits area on April 6, 2007. This allowed for an extended ferry service for residents and businesses.
    • On November 7, 2006, the Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs, released a report to aid in the development of a sustainable transportation plan for Labrador. With the release of this consultation document, the Provincial Government is moving forward with its Blueprint commitment to develop Labrador to its fullest potential and to reflect the objectives and aspirations of Labradorians.
    • November 27, 2006, the Provincial Government committed to providing a grant to the communities of Williams Harbour and Norman Bay to enable freight to be shipped via long liner when their ferry service’s annual contract expires on November 30. The grant is provided to the local service districts to lease a longliner which will bridge the gap between the end of the contracted ferry service (M.V. Challenge One) and the time winter freeze occurs.
    • The new transportation depot at Chateau Pond, located between Red Bay and Lodge Bay, was officially opened on January 9, 2007. This depot was built at a cost of $1.4 million to government. Government committed to building this much needed depot and it will allow snow-clearing crews to work from the centre of the road outwards, resulting in a more effective snow-clearing effort.
    • Announced on January 16, 2007 was the 2007 Labrador Marine Coastal Service by the Minister of Transportation and Works. The early release of the schedule will have a positive impact on the tourism industry as well as provided an extended operating service for residents who rely on the marine service for transportation and delivery of goods. The reservation service for the extended marine season became effective on January 23, 2007.
    • In Phase I of its ferry rate review, Government reduced passenger and vehicle-plus-driver fares on provincial ferries (including Labrador routes) to bring them in line with road equivalency costs. Government also cancelled the five per cent, across the board, rate increase for all fares that was scheduled to take effect April 1, 2007. Phase II will focus on commercial vehicle and freight rates and will be completed in 2008.

    5-Wing Goose Bay

    • Actively marketed base at Berlin Air Show, as well as with other European government officials.
    • Successfully lobbied federal government to secure increased funding for 5-Wing Goose Bay.
    • The Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development contributed funding for the following initiatives:
  • "Lessons Learned" tour for Goose Bay Citizen’s Coalition ($23,000).
  • 5 Wing Goose Bay Community Studies on alternative uses for the base and development of a business/marketing plan ($98,750).
  • UAV Student Competition 2007 – funding to host a UAV competition and market 5 Wing Goose Bay as a premier destination for companies involved in UAV construction and testing ($59,340).
    • The Minister Responsible for Labrador gave a presentation to the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and recommending further use of 5 Wing Goose Bay to achieve objectives of Canadian Forces and NATO.
    • Premier Williams has received written commitment from the Prime Minister to make 5 Wing Goose Bay an operational requirement.
    • The Provincial Government is also exploring other related economic diversification opportunities in aerospace and marine technology that may further enhance the roles that the base and the community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay might play in the federal government’s northern sovereignty plans.
    • Government continues to hold the federal government to its commitments to 5 Wing Goose Bay.
       

    Lower Churchill Development

    • Three "full development" proponents and three potential financing options have been selected to move on the Phase II of the assessment process.
    • Negotiated a new agreement on the recall of 130 MW of power from the Upper Churchill resulting in $230 million in additional revenues over five years (a 64 per cent increase over the previous contract).
    • Expression of Interest called for the development of the Lower Churchill hydro resource ($408,000).
    • In keeping with the provincial government’s agenda of developing resources for the maximum benefit of the people and continuing on the road to self-reliance, Premier Williams announced in May 2006, that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro would take the lead on the potential development of the Lower Churchill hydroelectric resource.
    • As part of its continuing assessment of market access and destination options in Canada and the United States for excess power from the potential Lower Churchill Project, Newfoundland and Labrador filed an application for long-term transmission service from the New Brunswick System Operator (NBSO) in February 2007. This follows requests filed in 2006 with Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie for transmission service on Hydro-Québec's transmission grid and with the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) for a connection assessment and approval to transmit Lower Churchill power into Ontario.
    • Announced in January 2006 that Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro will apply to Hydro-Quebec TransEnergie for transmission service to transmit Lower Churchill power from the Labrador/Quebec border to markets in Quebec, Ontario, the Maritime provinces and the northeast United States.
    • In May 2006, Premier Williams announced that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro will take the lead on the potential development of the Lower Churchill hydroelectric resource.
    • On December 1, 2006 Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro registered the Lower Churchill Project with the required federal and provincial environmental regulatory agencies. 

    Fisheries and Aquaculture

    • Labrador fisheries diversification projects ($94,200).
    • Cod potting tests - a new harvesting technology being introduced to the Labrador Straits ($31,700).
    • Exploratory harvesting for northern stone crab in northern Labrador, in partnership with Torngat Fish Producers and the Labrador Inuit Association ($50,000).
    • Working with the Gilbert's Bay steering committee to bring Gilberts Bay from an Area of Interest to a Marine Protected Area, under the Oceans Act.
    • Crab Workers’ Support Program ($453,000 committed in Labrador).

     

    Forestry

    • Study on the potential for secondary manufacturing and value-added wood products development in Labrador; the terms of reference were developed in consultation with Labrador industry and groups, including the Innu Nation and Métis Nation. The project team is working closely with local stakeholders to develop the strategy ($155,000). On November 2, 2006, the Provincial Government released the Strategic Plan to Develop Labrador Secondary Manufacturing and Value-Added Wood Products Industry. A team of senior managers from across government will now do the next piece of work necessary in regards to investor attraction and marketing to determine the viability of the plan.
    • Forest access road construction ($1.2 million over two years).
    • Expanded fire suppression program in Labrador ($460,000).
    • Silviculture project funding ($528,064 over two years)
    • Five Year Operating Plan for Forest Management District 21, which covers an area in southeastern Labrador from Charlottetown on the northeast coast, to L’anse au Clair in the Labrador Straits, an area approximately 1.9 million hectares in size.
    • In February 2007 the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development contributed funding to the Pan Labrador Forestry Forum in Port Hope Simpson. This provides funding to host a meeting of stakeholders in the forestry industry ($2,913).

    Agriculture

    • Northern Agri-foods Development Strategy established, with a minimum of $1.5 million federal/provincial funding, specifically for Labrador; projects include potato trials, forage crop research, carrot production research and support for the first Labrador Straits Wildberry Conference ($531,000 spent).
    • Agri-foods assistance to the Lake Melville Agricultural Association for investment in agricultural equipment ($165,000).
    • On March 15, 2007, the Provincial Government announced that it will be accepting proposals for a study to determine the feasibility of private industry establishing primary and secondary production of milk in Central Labrador with a view of supplying milk to Labrador and Nunavut. The deadline for proposals was March 23, 2007. The study is expected to be completed by the fall.

    Mines

    • Voisey’s Bay development proceeding on schedule, with continued monitoring of hiring practices to ensure adjacency principle is being applied for the benefit of Labrador workers. The Voisey’s Bay Environmental Management Board receives and reviews permit applications and other project-related plans (over 100 funded in 2004-05), and is funded by government ($450,000 annually).
    • Budget 2006 announced $250,000 for geological studies that support mineral exploration, including $200,000 to conduct a geochemical sampling and analysis program in prospective areas of Labrador, and $50,000 to continue the systematic bedrock mapping project in the Voisey’s Bay area.
    • Also announced in Budget 2006, $107,000 to fund a drill core collection program in Labrador that will gather existing material left in the field and make it available to other geologists.
    • Mineral Incentive Program (Junior Exploration Assistance) funding to four junior mining firms to conduct exploration programs on five properties in Labrador ($645,482).
    • Mineral Incentive Program (Prospectors Assistance) funding for five prospectors in support of their activities throughout Labrador ($14,500).
    • In May 2006, during National Mining Week, the Provincial Government announced funding expenditures under the Mineral Incentive Program with the nearly $1 million increase in funding announced in the provincial budget. At $2.5 million, this is the largest budget in the program’s history.
    • New initiatives under the Mineral Incentive Program include a Prospectors Training Course in Happy Valley-Goose Bay which will took place during the summer of 2006. It is hoped that by offering this course in the region it will provide the maximum benefit and opportunity to all interested people in Labrador, which can only lead to a much higher potential for new mineral discoveries.

    Strengthening Social Infrastructure

    The Provincial Government has done much to enhance the health, safety and well-being of Labradorians, in areas as diverse as child protection, justice, community and personal development.

    Health, Wellness and Engagement

    • New health centre in Labrador West. The total cost of this facility is estimated at $60 million. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2007-08 pending funding approval.
    • Government will proceed with the development of a new long-term care facility in Happy Valley–Goose Bay. Budget 2006 included $1.2 million for detailed design work. The new facility is expected to be completed in 2010.
    • Government announced $917,300 to support a new satellite kidney dialysis unit in Happy Valley-Goose Bay for dialysis patients.
    • Assistance for Labradorians to overcome the barrier of affordability when accessing needed health services outside their communities and their region ($567,000 annually, including a new $167,000 program for Labrador West residents who have to travel to Goose Bay for medical care, instituted in 2005).
    • In Budget 2006, $120,000 was provided for such suicide prevention initiatives over the next two years. The funding is made available under the Suicide Prevention Grants Program of the Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs. On February 27, 2007, the minister announced a grant of $12,000 to the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation for their suicide prevention proposal. The Provincial Government has also provided similar grants to the Labrador Métis Nation, the Miawpukek First Nation, the Federation of Newfoundland Indians and the Mushuau Innu First Nation.
    • Support for fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD) prevention programs offered by the Labrador FASD Advisory Committee and Labrador-Grenfell RIHA ($100,000).
    • $400,000 (an increase of $100,000 in 2006) in annual funding for the Air Foodlift subsidy program to provide nutritious food such as fruit, vegetables and dairy products at a more reasonable price in Labrador’s coastal communities.
    • Annual electrical service subsidy provided for Nain Sportsplex (up to $12,000).
    • Funding for two recreation positions for Sheshatshui ($75,000 annually).
    • Support for the 2006 Labrador Winter Games ($500,000).
    • The Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development provided the Point Amour Lighthouse project $40,000 from its Regional Sectoral Diversification Fund over the last two fiscal years (2005-06 and 2006-07) to update the Interpretation Centre and develop a trail system.
    • Government announced $230,000 in Budget 2006 to develop infrastructure in Pinware River Provincial Park, such as a comfort station and a dumping station.
    • Torngat Recreation Commission - the Community Capacity Building/Leadership Program and the Intra-Labrador Travel Subsidy Program - provincially funded (approximately $60,000 annually until 2006).
    • Employment corporations funding, providing employment for persons with developmental disabilities ($88,000).

    Education

    • In September 2006, the Provincial Government announced a new school for L’anse au Loup. Department officials are currently working with a consultant to develop estimates.
    • Budget 2006 included $1 million to help address inadequate facility arrangements of the College of the North Atlantic in Labrador West. A further $1 million was allocated for an extension on the College of the North Atlantic’s campus in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
    • In August 2006 Government announced that $5.5 million has been allocated to complete the extension to College of the North Atlantic in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
    • Government announced on January 25, 2007, that the Department of Education has approved Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company (VBNC) to offer Adult Basic Education Level I at the mining site in Labrador. It is the first time the ABE Level I program has been offered in the mining industry in the province. This government is focused on creating opportunities for our citizens and a large part of this is ensuring we have an educated workforce.

    Safety and Justice

    • Five additional social work positions announced in 2004 ($500,000 annually) and three additional positions in 2005 ($250,000 annually) for northern and central Labrador.
    • Training for the corrections staff for sex offender and family violence treatment programs at the Labrador Correctional Centre which will also now support Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder assessments, at a cost of $50,000 and $33,600 respectively. In January 2007, Correction Centre staff were trained in FASD.
    • 14 additional RCMP positions, including administrative ($1.2 million annually) established for coastal communities.
    • Additional funding provided to RNC in Labrador West (under a 70-30 federal-provincial funding arrangement).
    • New RCMP detachment established in Sheshatshui.
    • New Supreme Court building constructed and officially opened in Happy Valley-Goose Bay ($2.1 million).
    • Funding to hire legal aid staff in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to improve access to justice in Labrador, which is consistent with recommendations of the Aboriginal Law Project Report.
    • Funding announced in Budget 2006 to develop a translation interpretation strategy and a cultural training strategy to provide broader access to Labrador justice services. The department received the consultants report and recommendations in January 2007. Implementation is planned to begin in the spring of 2007.
    • Court security expanded to Happy Valley-Goose and Wabush. Funding also allocated to establish Supreme Court circuit courts for coastal communities to improve access to justice services in remote areas.
    • Labrador Correction Centre building upgraded ($193,000).
    • New video-conferencing unit established in the provincial court house, Happy Valley–Goose Bay which is used for meetings with other sites with video-conferencing equipment to relay decisions, etc.
    • Sweat Lodge constructed by inmates at the Labrador Correction Centre for inmate programs was officially opened March 13, 2007.
    • Following the provincial Aboriginal women’s conference in Stephenville, officials of the Department of Justice met with Inuit, Innu and Metis women in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Sheshatshiu in February. The focus was access to justice issues and enhancing communications with Aboriginal communities.

    Strong and Sustainable Communities

    • Municipal operating grants and special funding for Labrador municipalities (approximately $3 million annually).
    • Investment in essential major infrastructure projects under the Municipal Capital Works Program, the Multi-Year Capital Works Program, the Canada/ Newfoundland and Labrador Infrastructure Program and the Canada/ Newfoundland and Labrador Inuit Communities Agreement.
    • Under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Program the Provincial Government continues to pursue funding for infrastructure in Happy Valley-Goose Bay for a wastewater treatment project.
    • Announced December 8, 2006, the Provincial Government will spend an estimated $400,000 in 2007 to ensure small businesses and residents in isolated diesel communities on the Labrador coast and the island receive almost no rate increase in 2007 as a result of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro’s General Rate Application. Following negotiations with the consumer advocate and other interveners, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro was able to avoid requesting a rate increase for most groups of customers for 2007, except for those in remote diesel communities. This increase was related to the rising cost of fuel for diesel generation. The Provincial Government has decided to absorb the cost of the planned increase for these customers for 2007.
    • On December 15, 2006, the Provincial Government announced that low income earners would be eligible to receive up to $200 to help offset the cost of heating their homes from all sources through an expanded Home Heating Rebate Program. This program is available to individuals and families with a household income of $30,000 or less regardless of their heating source. This program will result in a government investment of $12.8 million, up from the $8.2 million spent on last year’s program.

    Helping Labradorians Connect

    • Labrador Travel Subsidy for high school athletes (over $400,000 annually).
    • Community Access Program (CAP) funding for computers and Internet access ($104,000 in 2004-05, $109,000 in 2005-06 and $101,000 for 2006-07). There are now 21 CAP sites in Labrador.
    • One time funding for Smart Labrador during their work on the Smart IT initiative to expand broadband throughout Labrador ($294,075).
    • Government has validated its ongoing support to the Combined Councils of Labrador and has invested $100,000 in Budget 2006.

    Culture and Heritage

    • $1.9 million announced in Budget 2006 to proceed with the performance space in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The Provincial Government will continue to explore a partnership with the federal government to share in the total project cost estimated at $4 million. Site preparation has been completed and construction is to begin with the 2007 construction season. It is anticipated that construction will be completed during the winter of 2008.
    • Support for Destination Labrador, to help promote Labrador as a tourism destination ($300,000 over three years).

    The Department of Innovation Trade and Rural Development contributed funding for the following initiatives:

    • Mina Hubbard Celebrations – provided to the Labrador Heritage Society ($47,250)
    • creation of a cultural video on life in northern Labrador, based on the Anderson files – funding to Torngasok Cultural Society ($11,859)
    • Hebron Mission Restoration – funding to Torngasok Cultural Society ($132,332)
    • Jersey Rooms Phase II – funding to Town of L’Anse au Clair for museum/interpretation work ($28,602). The Jersey Trail, in nearby L’anse au Cotard, extends along the shoreline of the L'Anse au Clair Bay and tells the story of L’Anse au Clair’s first settlers. Stone building foundations and an extensive stone-paved walkway are still visible. The Jersey Trail was officially opened on June 26, 2006
    • Gateway to Labrador Visitor Centre re-profiling – funding to Labrador Straits Historical Development Corporation ($39,911). The official opening took place on June 26, 2006, for the Gateway to Labrador Visitor Centre, a restored early 20th century church. This is the first building on the entrance to L’Anse au Clair and will serve as a link to the rest of the province
    • Birch Brook Nordic Ski Club – funding for ski trail and groomer garage improvements $11,461 in 2005 and $26,932 in 2006
    • Cain’s Quest Labrador Snowmobile Endurance Race – $37,963 for 2006 and $53,540 for 2007
    • Craft Training and Agricultural-Craft Fair in southern Labrador – funding to host craft workshops and assist in the implementation of the craft and agricultural fair ($3,198)
    • Red Bay Marine Infrastructure Development Plan - funding will assist in identification of alternate uses for the infrastructure as related to the National Historic Site ($18,288)
    • Grenfell properties restoration in Mary’s Harbour – funding to upgrade tourism infrastructure for travelers visiting Battle Harbour ($75,752)
    • Pioneer Footpath Development Plan in the Labrador Straits – funding to complete the phase I development plan of a walking trail system from L’anse au Clair to Red Bay ($18,515)
    • Labrador Winter Trails Enhancement – funding to re-route and upgrade various sections of the Labrador wide trail system ($47,501)
    • Ice Carving Equipment for Sno Break 2007 – funding to purchase ice making and carving equipment to add another attraction to the festivities and further enhance the winter tourism industry in Labrador ($6,000)
    • In June 2006 the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation announced funding for 21 arts and heritage projects totalling approximately $475,000 under the Cultural Economic Development Program (CEDP). One recipient of funding based in Labrador was THEM DAYS Magazine and Archives which received $50,000 toward its annual operating costs.
    • The redeveloped A.M.G.Town Centre in L’Anse au Clair was officially opened on June 26, 2006. It houses a family resource centre, new council chambers, a gym and computer room with Internet access.
    • Completed The Way Forward, a tourism outfitting strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador.
    • An archaeology conference was held in Battle Harbour during June 2006 entitled The Many Faces of Labrador: Community and Archaeology in the Big Land. Discussion revolved around the state of archaeology research in Labrador by bringing together interested community leaders and top archaeologists from across the province and country.
    • $94,267 from the Regional-Sectoral Diversification Fund invested in two Labrador organizations for community initiatives:
      • $75,752 to assist Mary’s Harbour Town Council with major improvements to the ferry site;
      • $18, 515 to Labrador Straits Historical Society for an extensive walking trail system.

    Responsible Environmental Stewardship

    • Budget 2006 confirmed $516,800 for the second year of a six-year project to monitor the effects of the Trans-Labrador Highway on the threatened Mealy Mountains woodland caribou.
    • Innu Forest Management Process Agreement funding ($340,000 annually).
    • Labrador Métis Nation participation in forest management process funded ($400,000 over two years).
    • $148,400 allocated in Budget 2006 toward an updated estimate of Davis Strait polar bear populations to ensure that the polar bears are not over harvested.
    • The Provincial Government announced its intention to proceed with the Labrador wind monitoring program in June 2006. It is in line with government’s action to expand the mandate of Hydro to explore every aspect of the energy industry and pursue developments in the best interest of the province.
    • The Provincial Government embarked on a province-wide public consultation process in January 2006 on the development of the provincial Energy Plan. Government is continuing its work to complete a comprehensive provincial Energy Plan which is expected to be completed by late spring. The plan will incorporate government’s public policy direction regarding the development of our energy resources, including wind projects.

    Working with Aboriginal Communities Toward Greater Self-Reliance

    • Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act has been passed by both the federal and provincial levels of government. Minister Rideout appeared before the House of Commons and Senate Standing Committees on Aboriginal Affairs in June 2005 to encourage the expeditious passing of the legislation.
    • Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement signed with the Labrador Inuit Association and the Government of Canada in Nain on January 22, 2005, providing the foundation for sustainable development in northern Labrador. There was $1,324,600 announced in the 2006 Budget to fulfill provincial obligations for the implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, such as land use planning, surveys, and co-management boards.
    • Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve Land Transfer Agreement signed with the Government of Canada on January 22, 2005 (which included a funding commitment from Parks Canada of $14 million over first 10 years).
    • Progress in negotiations on Innu land claims and the impacts and benefits issues related to the Lower Churchill project.

    Supporting Aboriginal Communities

    Understanding the past, enhancing the present and building the future

    • Premier Williams delivered an apology to the people relocated from Hebron and Nutak.
    • Federal-Provincial Inuit Communities Agreement extended for 2004 and 2005, providing some $13 million annually for municipal infrastructure, supplementary education programs, community development and housing (under a 70-30 federal-provincial funding arrangement).
    • The Rooms Provincial Museum, in partnership with The Innu Nation, acquired a rare 18th century caribou-skin coat purchased at $104,650. Curation and exhibition of the coat will be undertaken under the direction of a Joint Management Committee representing The Rooms Provincial Museum and the Innu Nation. Upon the development of a cultural facility in Labrador by Innu Nation, ownership of the coat will be transferred to Innu Nation.
    • The Provincial Government agreed on September 8, 2006, to transfer the necessary Crown lands to the Government of Canada for the creation of a reserve for the Innu First Nation at Sheshatshiu, in Labrador.

    Health and wellness

    • Government worked with the Innu and the Government of Canada to further the Innu Healing Strategy and address social problems.
    • Support for reopening of the Shushepishipan Group Home ($70,000).
    • Family resource projects and other projects to help protect and empower aboriginal women and their families ($400,000, including $100,000 for violence prevention).

    Education and family development

    • Budget 2006 also provided $120,000 to continue a community-based grants program and collaborative work to address quality of life issues for Aboriginal women and children.
    • A new elementary and intermediate religious education program with more information on Aboriginal spirituality.
    • Emergency funding granted to the Hopedale school for fire recovery.
    • Support for family resource programs through the Shakastueu Pisham Centre in Sheshatshui and the Piguttuk Family Resource project in Nain ($210,000 annually).
    • Addressing issues identified in the Philpott Report on Innu education ($500,000) such as working with the Innu and the federal government to develop a bi-cultural model of education that will encourage Innu children to achieve their potential while preserving and fostering their language and culture.
    • In June 2006 Government committed to investing $1.2 million throughout the province in adult education through an initiative for the College of the North Atlantic to expand the number of sites where Adult Basic Education (ABE) Level I is offered. One of the nine full-time ABE sites is located in North West River.

    Women of Labrador

    • $80,000 has been identified in Budget 2006 to increase the annual grants for the province's eight women's centres (Corner Brook, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador City, Port aux Basques, St. John's, Stephenville) so that clients can have improved access to information, support and referral services. The increase will bring the annual funding for each of the centres to $75,000. This increased the funding for women’s centres in Labrador City and Happy Valley-Goose Bay ($10,000 each).
    • $120,000 has been identified in Budget 2006 for Aboriginal women and children. This includes $100,000 to continue a community-based grants program designed to address violence and other quality of life issues for Aboriginal women and children and $20,000 in continued funding to enable ongoing collaborative work and meetings between Aboriginal women and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to advance the quality of life for Aboriginal women.
    • Women’s Policy Office worked with National Women’s Institute to support their efforts for children in north coast Labrador ($5,000).
    • Support to open a women’s shelter in Hopedale ($200,000) and extra funding for Hope Haven in Labrador City ($100,000) in 2006 budget.
    • The Provincial Government invested $70 000 to Hopedale Status of Women Council for new women’s shelter.
    • Women’s Policy Office organization of first Aboriginal women’s conference. Support for an Aboriginal women’s conference on social and economic needs and priorities – Aboriginal Women, The Path to the Good Life, March 13-15, 2006 held in Happy Valley-Goose Bay; funding ensured that 80 Aboriginal women could participate ($80,000).
    • The Provincial Government has already begun to take action on a number of issues outlined in The Path to the Good Life. In Budget 2006, the provincial government provided funding for increases to legal aid services, improved health and policing services, improved women’s shelters in Labrador and the development of a strategy to improve access to translators for Aboriginal people using the justice system. Aboriginal women’s issues are also identified as a significant part of the government’s new six-year plan of action on violence prevention. Government is currently undertaking a review of cultural sensitivity and culturally appropriate services and supports to ensure that all Aboriginal people receive services from government with respect and understanding.
    • On August 9, 2006, the Provincial Government announced funding for eight projects to aid in violence prevention for Aboriginal women and children have been approved through the government’s Violence Prevention Initiative. The eight projects, totaling approximately $78,000, will provide funding for Innu, Inuit, Labrador Metis and Mi’kmaq communities.
    • Provided $10,000 in funding to the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation to support Innu Ishkueut Healing Journey conference held by the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation.
    • Government assisted with the organization and funding for the second Aboriginal women’s conference, The Good Life for Aboriginal Women: Moving Forward, Building Strength held November 24-26, 2006. Innu, Inuit, Metis and Mi’kmaq women met in Stephenville from with representatives from the provincial government to discuss justice, violence and poverty.
    • In March 2006, the Provincial Government sponsored six Aboriginal women to attend a national forum on violence against Aboriginal women in Ottawa.
    • In December 2006, $80,000 in funding was granted by Women’s Policy Office to eight community-based projects – five based in Labrador – to address violence against Aboriginal women and children.
    • Women’s Policy Office hosted province-wide school writing contest to promote the contribution of Aboriginal Women to the province during Women’s’ History Month;
    • Government has committed to hosting the upcoming National Aboriginal Women’s Summit in June 2007 in Corner Brook.

     


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