Executive Council
Transportation and Works
Municipal Affairs
Environment and Conservation
Natural Resources
Tourism, Culture and Recreation
April 26, 2007

Implementing Action to Modernize Infrastructure

The Williams Government continues to modernize the province�s infrastructure and grow the economy as it enters the second year of its unprecedented, $2 billion, six-year infrastructure strategy investment, the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, announced today.

Last year, more than $300 million was allocated to improve the province�s infrastructure and in Budget 2007 the Provincial Government will make another substantial investment of $440 million.

"Quality infrastructure is essential for economic development and productivity in all areas of our province and that is why last year we made a strategic decision to make unprecedented investments in infrastructure improvements over a six-year period," said Premier Williams. "Addressing the province�s infrastructure deficit, brought on by years of inadequate funding, is a key component of our strategy to stimulate job creation and grow the economy, particularly in rural areas."

Close to half of the infrastructure strategy investments in Budget 2007 are earmarked for the health and education sectors.

Transportation and Works

The Williams Government is committed to the revitalization of provincial infrastructure and will therefore invest more than $220 million for transportation infrastructure improvements as well as investments in public buildings and water bombers. A further $24.8 million is anticipated under various cost-sharing arrangements.

"Investing in infrastructure is a top priority for this government," said the Honourable John Hickey, Minister of Transportation and Works. "We have made significant improvements to road conditions throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, great strides in revitalizing our provincial ferry fleet, and are continuing to reconfigure our public buildings."

Investments in transportation include:


  • $15 million for construction of two new ferry vessels;
  • $10.3 million for refits of government-owned ferry vessels; and,
  • $5 million for maintenance and capital construction of terminals and wharfs.
  • Buildings

  • $8.5 million for maintenance and alterations to public buildings;
  • $8 million for environmental remediation and demolition of abandoned facilities;
  • $2.4 million for salt storage sheds;
  • $2.2 million to reconfigure public buildings; and,
  • $1 million for highway depots.
  • Roads

    As previously announced, $70 million is provided for the roads program which includes:

  • $66.5 million for the Provincial Roads Improvement Program;
  • $2.5 million for the summer maintenance program, including line-painting, pothole-patching, guide rail replacement; and,
  • $1 million for Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) sensors.
  • Further to these allocations, Budget 2007 provides the following:

  • $28 million cost-shared for upgrades to the Trans Canada Highway with $15.5 million coming from the Provincial Government;
  • $17 million for construction of Phase III of the Trans Labrador Highway;
  • $15 million for summer maintenance program, including line-painting, pothole-patching, guide rail replacement, bringing the total to $17.5 million;
  • $15 million to provide a sealed surface on Phase I of the Trans Labrador Highway, subject to federal cost-sharing;
  • $10 million to start Torbay By-Pass and extend the Team Gushue Highway, subject to federal government cost-sharing;
  • $10 million for renewal of heavy equipment fleet, including $500,000 to purchase an ARAN (Automated Road Analyzer) vehicle;
  • $7 million for land acquisition for road right-of-ways;
  • $683,000 for operating cost of new radio system for better communication for heavy-equipment operators;
  • $587,400 to purchase a Geographic Information System (GIS) system that allows for better planning and mapping of highways; and,
  • In addition to the funding previously announced for WIM sensors, $280,400 will be invested by Government Services for two weigh scale operators and one highway enforcement officer.
  • Air

  • $19.9 million to upgrade provincial water bomber fleet.
  • Municipal Affairs

    As previously announced, to allow for pre-construction season tender awards, capital works commitments through the Department of Municipal Affairs total $105.8 million through cost-shared initiatives with federal and municipal counterparts. Budget 2007 marks the final year of government�s Multi-Year Capital Works Program. The provincial contribution for capital works commitments totals $50.4 million and includes:

  • $25.2 million for Municipal Capital Works;
  • $14.2 million for Multi-year Capital Works;
  • $9 million for the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund;
  • $2 million for the Canadian Strategic Infrastructure Fund Program II.
  • "Capital works programs provide municipalities the opportunity to secure, develop and improve services for residents, and support the long-term sustainability, growth and development of communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador," said the Honourable Jack Byrne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. "These programs help address the increasing infrastructure requirements for municipalities across the province by finding cost-effective solutions to support projects which will improve water and sewer, roads, recreation and fire equipment infrastructure."

    Environment and Conservation

    Protecting the province�s natural environment is a priority for the Williams Government. A strong provincial parks system is key to helping the province achieve its environmental protection goals. Parks protect and conserve unique landscapes and sensitive ecosystems, provide a high quality outdoor recreational experience for visitors and contribute to the province�s eco-tourism industry.

    The Provincial Government is increasing its investment in the provincial parks system by $1 million and expanding the Parks Renewal Strategy from a three-year commitment to a four-year, $4-million initiative. Additional funding will mean service improvements to make parks more attractive, encourage increased usage, and provide the range of services and amenities demanded by the modern traveller.

    The provincial parks are located throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Improving the parks will help the tourism industry and enhance local economies and employment opportunities, particularly in rural areas.

    Natural Resources

    Budget 2007 provides the Department of Natural Resources with $1.25 million to replace regional forestry buildings at Winterland and Lewisporte and the regional veterinary building at Pynn�s Brook. Design work for the new building at Winterland is completed and the goal is to have all three buildings constructed by the end of 2007. The new buildings will provide office space for regional staff to deliver front-line services.

    Tourism, Culture and Recreation

    The Provincial Government continues to invest in the maintenance and upgrading of the infrastructure that is essential to its cultural and tourism sectors.

    Key investments for the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation include:

  • $1.525 million for improvements and new construction at the Port aux Basques and Whitbourne Visitor Information Centres (VICs). This includes $725,000 carried forward from Budget 2006;
  • $675,000 to revitalize provincial historic sites throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. This funding represents the second year of $2.2 million in funding over three years announced in Budget 2006;
  • $400,000 for upgrading and repairs to the St. John�s Arts and Culture Centre. This funding is carried forward from Budget 2006, when Government allocated $3.4 million over five years for improvements to Arts and Culture Centres across Newfoundland and Labrador; and,
  • $200,000 for Corner Brook Museum to make the museum more functional and suitable for exhibit development. This funding is part of the two-year $325,000 commitment announced in Budget 2006.
  • Justice

    The Provincial Government is also investing in the revitalization of infrastructure under the Department of Justice. These investments include:

  • $11.3 million in Budget 2007 for the construction of a new court house to service the Corner Brook area, bringing the total project investment to approximately $17 million;
  • $500,000 for preliminary planning related to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Headquarters and Annex; and,
  • $500,000 to begin the development of a fiscal framework around the planning and design of a new correctional facility.
  • - 30 �

    Media contacts:

    Elizabeth Matthews
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Premier
    709-729-3960, 351-1227
    David Salter
    Director of Communications
    Department of Transportation and Works
    709-729-3015, 691-3577
    Heather MacLean
    Director of Communications
    Department of Municipal Affairs
    709-729-1983, 690-2498
    Diane Hart
    Director of Communications
    Department of Environment and Conservation
    709-729-2575, 685-4401
    Tracy Barron
    Director of Communications
    Department of Natural Resources

    709-729-5282, 709-690-8241
    John Tompkins
    Director of Communications
    Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
    709-729-0928, 728-7762
    Deborah Pennell
    Director of Communications
    Department of Justice
    709-729-6985, 685-6612

    2007 04 26                                                    2:15 p.m.

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