Executive Council
Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
April 20, 2007

Premier Launches Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador

A hallmark of the Provincial Government�s strong commitment to addressing the needs of Labrador was launched today in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, officially released his government�s Northern Strategic Plan entitled The Future of our Land. A Future for our Children. The Premier was joined by the Honourable John Hickey, Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs.

The release of this plan signifies the fulfillment of Williams Government 2005 Speech from the Throne commitment to develop a Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador. The plan sets out a new, comprehensive course toward a stronger and more prosperous future for all Labradorians. The Premier noted that the plan builds upon the unprecedented Provincial Government initiatives in Labrador over the past four years in addressing the social and economic needs of the region.

"This is a great day for Labrador and indeed the province as a whole, as we release a plan that clearly defines our vision for Labradorians and the role this region will play in the future success of our province," said Premier Williams. "Our government recognizes the pivotal role Labrador plays in our province and the tremendous contributions of the region to the economic well being of Newfoundland and Labrador. Implementation of the Northern Strategic Plan will serve to further invigorate the social and economic well being of all Labradorians, and will lay the foundation for a brighter future for the people and communities of Labrador."

The Provincial Government will invest more than $250 million over the next five years to support the goals outlined in the plan, which includes existing and new Labrador initiatives. Approximately $55 million will be spent for new initiatives over the next five years to implement the plan.

"The Northern Strategic Plan will improve the quality of living for Labradorians by providing improved infrastructure and programs and services," continued the Premier. "This plan will ensure that economic and resource development will directly benefit Labradorians. The Provincial Government will continue to work with Aboriginal people and community leaders to ensure the targets of the plan are achieved."

The Northern Strategic Plan is the result of extensive public consultations and input, supplemented by cross-departmental efforts. It identifies a wide range of initiatives dedicated to advancing programs and services throughout Labrador. The following themes emerged through consultations: transportation; natural resources; tourism, culture and heritage; capacity building; partnerships; programs and services; and Aboriginal issues.

"The Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador builds on our government�s already strong relationship with the Aboriginal people of Labrador," said the Honourable Minister Rideout, Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs. "The plan identifies numerous initiatives that will form the basis for exploring future partnerships, advancing communications and developing further programs and services that meet the needs of all Aboriginal groups throughout the region."

Minister Hickey noted that the Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs will play a lead role in overseeing the implementation of the plan.

"The Williams Government is committed to improving the lives of all Labradorians and today we are making great strides with the launch of the Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador," said Minister Hickey. "The Northern Strategic Plan is a living document that will continue to evolve over the next five years and I am confident it will significantly improve programs and services in Labrador."

The Provincial Government has identified four strategic directions in the Northern Strategic Plan. Those are:

  • Supporting equitable programs and services and improving infrastructure to facilitate enhanced accessibility for the residents of Labrador;
  • Fostering the progression of social development in Labrador;
  • Providing leadership and supporting maximization of economic development opportunities;
  • Encouraging communications and partnerships with governments, Aboriginal people, communities, organizations and other stakeholders.
  • Some of the major investments for the Northern Strategic Plan include:

  • $1 million this year, as part of $8.3 million over five years, to enhance social work staffing to address the needs of children and families, and persons with mental health and addictions issues;
  • $4.8 million to construct a new K-12 School in Port Hope Simpson;
  • $4 million contribution to the construction of a new school in Sheshatshiu;
  • $1.6 million annual electricity rebate for home owners using diesel generated power in rural isolated communities along the Labrador coast;
  • $1.5 million to provide picture archiving and communications systems for the Labrador Health Centre and Captain William Jackman Memorial Hospital;
  • $1.4 million to strengthen the Tele-Health network and video conferencing capacity in Labrador, to improve access to address chronic disease management in Labrador;
  • $1.3 million to construct a new facility for the Francophone school in Happy Valley-Goose Bay;
  • $1.24 million increase to the Medical Transportation Program over the five years of the Northern Strategic Plan to assist with reimbursement of claimable expenses under the Medical Transportation Assistance Program for residents that incur significant travel costs in order to receive medical treatment;
  • $615,000 increase to the Labrador Travel Subsidy over the next five years;
  • $500,000 increase over the next five years to the Cultural Travel Subsidy program;
  • $200,000 towards the construction For Them Days Archive;
  • $1.5 million over five years to assess the status of inland fish species;
  • $1.6 million over five years toward management plans for significant big game populations in Labrador;
  • $750,000 to increase the Labrador Grooming Subsidy; and,
  • $43,000 to assist the youth of Labrador with the travel costs associated with attending YC Newfoundland and Labrador, which bring together youth from around the province.
  • The launch of the Northern Strategic Plan builds upon the past successes of the Williams Government as it relates to Labrador. These include funding of $56 million in 2005 for key initiatives to continue the development, diversification and well-being of Labrador, and an investment of over $47 million in Budget 2006 to address the infrastructure needs in the region.

    A copy of the Northern Strategic Plan and a complete list of new initiatives emerging from the NSP can we found at www.gov.nl.ca/laa/nspl/. To order a copy of the Northern Strategic Plan, please call 1-888-435-8111.



    1. Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador - New Initiatives
    2. Labrador � Commitment, Progress, Confidence

    Media contacts:

    Elizabeth Matthews
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Premier
    709-729-3960, 351-1227
    Val Oliver
    Public Relations Specialist
    Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
    709-896-1780, 897-4787
    Lori Lee Oates
    Director of Communications
    Aboriginal Affairs
    709-729-3733, 690-8403


    2007 04 20                                                   11:00 a.m.


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