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September 25, 2006
(Transportation and Works)
(Government Services)

Ministers attend meetings of national transportation ministers

John Hickey, Minister of Transportation and Works and Dianne Whelan, Minister of Government Services, met with federal, provincial and territorial transportation ministers at the National Council of Ministers meetings for transportation ministers late last week in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

This meeting was held in conjunction with the annual Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) conference.

Among the issues that were discussed by transportation ministers and their officials is the on-going consultation between the provinces/territories and the federal government regarding the framework for future cost-shared programs, such as the extension of the Canadian Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF) and the newly-established Highways and Boarders Infrastructure Fund (HBIF).

Minister Hickey says he is �cautiously optimistic� the needs of this province will be met after bringing his concerns forward to Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

�In shaping future highway programs, I asked Minister Cannon to consider northern and
remote resource areas,� said Minister Hickey. �While we all recognize that urban and densely populated areas have issues, we must keep in mind that the resources of the north fuel the economies of the south.�

Minister Hickey re-iterated that $100 million for resurfacing Phase I of the Trans Labrador Highway and ongoing maintenance of the Trans Canada Highway remain top priorities for the province.

Minister Hickey also encouraged Minister Cannon to take a close look at a report on small airport viability that promotes the reduction of rental fees for small airports.

One of the mandates of the Department of Government Services is highway safety and the department was involved in the meetings from this perspective. Minister Whalen stressed that a "one-size fits all approach doesn't always work" in regards to implementing national standards.

"I emphasized to my counterparts that jurisdictions across Canada face different challenges and have different needs and it's important to keep the Newfoundland and Labrador context in mind when making safety and regulation changes," said Minister Whalen.

Media contact:

  • David Salter, Transportation and Works, (709) 729-3015, 691-3577
  • Vanessa Colman-Sadd, Government Services, (709) 729-4860, 682-6593

2006 09 25                                  4:25 p.m.

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