July 23, 2004
(Executive Council)


Premier and Cabinet to visit Plum Point

Premier Danny Williams and his Cabinet will be in Plum Point on the province's Great Northern Peninsula on Sunday, July 25 and Monday, July 26. During the retreat, the Premier and Ministers will focus primarily on the province's rural strategy.

"This meeting in Plum Point will focus on further developing our rural strategy," said Premier Williams. "Government's role in the rural economy and how government provides public services to rural Newfoundland and Labrador are some of the issues to be discussed."

The 2004 Throne Speech and Budget featured prominent commitments to the province�s rural areas, including the establishment of a Rural Secretariat that will integrate economic and social aspects of rural and regional development and provides a forum for government and community partners to work together.

"We are laying the groundwork for a vision and strategy for rural Newfoundland and Labrador that will emerge from consultations with the communities in the province and the people who live and work there,"added the premier. "Our objective is to work collaboratively with community partners to identify common concerns, set priorities and goals for the coming years, and build on the strengths of our rural communities. We want to coordinate and share economic and social development research, identify opportunities to share resources, and ensure coordinated rural policy and program development."

"We are strengthening our position to generate economic growth and foster an environment conducive to job creation," said the premier. "The rural strategy is an integral part of this overall plan. The energy and resourcefulness of rural Newfoundland and Labrador has always been a strong factor in our province�s economic success and we will continue to build on this strength."

Recently, government announced both its provincial roads program and capital works program. These two programs are a necessary component of the province's overall infrastructure strategy and are particularly important to rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

"Solid and reliable infrastructure is critical to attracting new investment and competing successfully in the global marketplace," said the Premier. "We�re investing in infrastructure to stimulate job creation and make rural economies more productive and competitive. Revitalizing our rural communities is a priority for this government, and this will be the focus around the Cabinet table in Plum Point."

The retreat will begin mid-day on Sunday and end Monday afternoon. It will be held at the Plum Point Motel.

Media contact: Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709)729-3960 or (709) 690-5500

NOTE TO EDITORS: There will be a media photo opportunity at 9 a.m. Monday, July 26 at the          Conference Room, Ground Floor, at Plum Point Motel.

2004 07 23                                         3:55 p.m.

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