Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
April 29, 2009

The following statement was issued by the Honourable John Hickey, Minister of Labrador Affairs. It was also read in the House of Assembly:

Northern Strategic Plan Improving the Lives of Labradorians

I rise today to provide this Honourable House with an update on the Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador. This five year, dynamic, cross-departmental plan provides a clear focus of the Williams Governmentís pledge to provide a better future for all Labradorians.

The Northern Strategic Plan was released on April 20, 2007 and is now in its third year. The plan is considered a living document that will evolve with the changing needs of Labradorians and as new ideas take shape.

The plan originally started with 145 commitments and a total expected investment of some $300 million. I am pleased to report to my colleagues that as work begins in the planís third year, the commitments have steadily grown to 191, resulting in some expected $430 million in spending in Labrador over the life of the plan.

Since the introduction of the Northern Strategic Plan, we have seen unprecedented spending throughout Labrador. In Budget 2009, with a record investment of $135 million to improve infrastructure, program and services, this government clearly recognizes that Labrador priorities are provincial priorities. Some major examples include: $19 million for a new francophone school in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, a new K-12 school in Port Hope Simpson, which has gone to tender for site development, and a new K-12 school in LíAnse au Loup, where tenders have closed and bids are being assessed; $9.5 million for construction of the new College of the North Atlantic campus in Labrador West, which has been recently called for tender; $4.7 million for the continued funding for the new health care facility in Labrador West; and, $2 million for the construction of a new pre-trial detention centre for women and youth in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

As well, we continue to make every effort to improve infrastructure and program and service delivery in our remote coastal communities. This includes enhancements to the winter snowmobile trail system through the Labrador Transportation Grooming Subsidy and ongoing monitoring of our Air Foodlift Subsidy to ensure people have access to nutritious foods at reasonable prices.

The Northern Strategic Plan is growing and changing to meet the needs of the people of Labrador. To monitor progress, my department has developed an exhaustive process to gauge results. As well, in support of accountability and transparency, department officials will produce a detailed mid-term report that will be followed with stakeholder visitations throughout Labrador to illustrate what is being accomplished through the plan.

This administration is working diligently to achieve the long-term vision of the Northern Strategic Plan to advance the social and economic agenda of Labrador. Through consultation and strategic investment, we will continue to improve the lives of all Labradorians.

2009 04 29 3:45 p.m.
 


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