March 8, 2005
(Executive Council)

Premier and Cabinet announce $56 million in funding for Labrador initiatives

Premier Danny Williams today announced a number of key initiatives as part of the provincial government�s commitment to the continuing development, diversification and well-being of Labrador. Projects and initiatives announced today represent a total funding commitment of $56 million. Premier Williams was joined at the announcement by Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, Tom Rideout and Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs, Trevor Taylor.

The Premier and his Cabinet have been meeting in Labrador for the past two days, and met today with the mayors and leaders from over 30 communities throughout Labrador.

�We had a productive meeting with Labrador�s community leaders, and I look forward to working with these leaders in the future to address the needs and opportunities in the region,� said Premier Williams. �We were pleased to share with these community leaders new funding for a number of initiatives that have been identified as priorities by Labradorians through our ongoing consultations and dialogue. Specifically, I visited the North Coast of Labrador this summer and was struck by the number of needs identified by our aboriginal peoples. I made a commitment to them that our government would address these needs and, today, we are pleased to do exactly that. Our government recognizes the pivotal role that Labrador plays in the future well-being of our province, and we continue to make major strides in generating resource benefits, employment and infrastructure improvements that are improving the lives of all Labradorians.�

The premier also outlined a number of important initiatives government has made in Labrador since taking office.

�The strategic investments we have made in transportation and municipal infrastructure, agrifoods and forest research, and business diversification have strengthened Labrador�s positioning for long-term economic growth,� said Premier Williams. �Increased funding for child protection, justice and community services has done much to enhance the health, safety and well-being of Labradorians. We continue as a government to be committed to Labrador, not just in word, but in action. Our considerable efforts to date reflect that commitment.�

Tom Rideout, Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, said government�s work with aboriginal groups has advanced aspirations for greater self-reliance. �The land claims, land transfer and economic benefits agreements signed this past January in Nain provide a sound foundation for the Labrador Inuit to receive sustainable, long-term benefits from the resources these agreements bestow,� Minister Rideout said. �We have also agreed to extend the federal-provincial Inuit Communities Agreement that locks in $13 million for community infrastructure, development, education and housing.�

Trevor Taylor, Minister responsible for Labrador Affairs, said that government is proud of its achievements in Labrador and will continue to identify and act on future needs and opportunities. �We�ve made a good start by ensuring that Labrador is fully included in the province�s social, economic and political dialogue,� said Minister Taylor. �We�re going to continue to work with Labradorians to generate new opportunities that will benefit its people, communities and economy.�

Premier Williams said his government is building on its achievements.

�Today I am announcing a 2005-06 investment of $56 million to improve access to health services, strengthen aboriginal communities, build and repair infrastructure and expand economic opportunities,� he said. �This is the strongest signal yet that government intends to see Labrador thrive and prosper, and to see Labradorians enjoy the same standard of living enjoyed by residents living on the Island.� The premier indicated this does not preclude potential further announcements in Budget 2005.

Specific initiatives announced today include:

  • $167,000 for Labrador West residents who have to travel to Goose Bay for medical care;
  • $200,000 for a needs assessment to address physical infrastructure issues at Captain William Jackman Hospital in Labrador City;
  • $100,000 to support fetal alcohol syndrome prevention programs offered by the Labrador FASD Advisory Committee and Labrador-Grenfell RIHA;
  • $250,000 to permanently hire three additional social workers to serve Natuashish and nearby aboriginal communities;
  • $70,000 to reopen the Shushepishipan Group Home;
  • $400,000 for family resource projects and other projects to help protect and empower aboriginal women and their families;
  • $40 million for continued work on the Trans Labrador Highway;
  • Completion of a performance evaluation of the 15 kilometres of chip-seal road surface laid in 2004;
  • $750,000 for a new highway maintenance depot in the Red Bay-Lodge Bay area to house specialized snow clearing equipment;
  • $13.3 million 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;
  • $300,000 over three years to help promote Labrador as a tourism destination through the Destination Labrador program;
  • $500,000 to support the 2006 Labrador Winter Games;
  • Creation of a new senior government position and supports in Labrador West within the Department of Natural Resources to serve Labrador�s mining, agricultural and energy sectors, with a total cost of $250,000;
  • Establishment of a branch of the Premier�s Office in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to ensure a direct conduit between Labrador and the premier on the priorities, views and concerns of Labradorians.

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

  Backgrounder - Announcement of initiatives based on the strategic priorities of Labrador
  Backgrounder - Government Accomplishments to date

2005 03 08                              3:45 p.m.

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