March 30, 2006
(Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs)
The Right Choices: Renewing our Commitment to Labrador
The Williams government is renewing its commitment to encourage growth and prosperity in Labrador with $60 million in strategic investments in Budget 2006, ranging from expanded ferry service to providing performance space, to violence prevention and mineral exploration, which will deliver real, positive change for Labradorians.
"We have been making continuous progress in embracing the opportunities and addressing the challenges of Labrador since forming the government two years ago," said Premier Williams. "Our actions reflect our commitment to act on priorities identified by Labradorians to bring about a stronger, more vibrant economy for the region."
Paul Shelley, Minister responsible for Labrador Affairs, says that Budget 2006 will benefit residents in all regions of Labrador. "In mid-March, we made a number of infrastructure announcements in Happy Valley-Goose Bay that were met with widespread approval. Budget 2006 makes further pledges to improving transportation infrastructure in Labrador, as well as other economic and social priorities. All regions of Labrador will benefit from this budget."
Building and Maintaining Infrastructure
Capital investments of over $7.5 million this year will improve access to health care, support Labrador�s culture, and promote educational opportunity. These funds will support performance space for eastern Labrador, the development of a new long-term care facility in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, improved facility arrangements for College of the North Atlantic�s campuses (in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Labrador West), a new satellite dialysis unit, and a new health centre in Labrador West. (Details were announced by Premier Williams in mid-March and are available online at www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2006/exec/0313n02.htm)
Respecting Labrador�s Natural Beauty
The Williams government recognizes that the natural environment remains one of our most important economic assets. Budget 2006 commits more than $2.8 million towards preserving Labrador�s natural beauty and supporting sustainable tourism. This includes:
Supporting Safe and Secure Communities in Labrador
The Williams government envisions a society where relationships are built on equality and respect. More than $1.2 million is directed in Budget 2006 to support community safety and to act on recommendations of the Aboriginal Law Project Report.
"During the recent Aboriginal women�s conference, and in consultations with Aboriginal leaders and women last November, we heard concerns about the social, cultural, economic and environmental needs of their communities," said Tom Rideout, Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs. "Budget 2006 makes commitments that reflect many of the concerns of Aboriginal people in the province, such as public safety, suicide, and the cost of living."
Additional funding of $230,000 for transition homes in Hopedale and Labrador City will support temporary housing in a safe, secure environment for women and their children leaving abusive relationships. A suicide prevention initiative will involve research and training programs for Aboriginal communities experiencing a high level of suicides, at a cost of $120,000 over two years. Sex offender and family violence treatment programs will be provided at the Labrador Correctional Centre (LCC), which will also now support Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) assessments, at a cost of $50,000 and $33,600 respectively. Other initiatives include:
As recently announced, Budget 2006 also provides $120,000 to continue a community-based grants program and collaborative work to address quality of life issues for Aboriginal women and children. (Details are available at www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2006/exec/0315n04.htm)
Strengthening Opportunities in Labrador
Budget 2006 includes a range of Labrador-specific funding that can lead to improved economic and social development opportunities. Among these are:
2006 03 30 2:30 p.m.
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