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June 26, 2008

Continued Population Growth for a Third Quarter Very Encouraging

The Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board, said today he is very encouraged by the latest quarterly Statistics Canada population and migration figures showing positive population growth for a third consecutive quarter.

According to Statistics Canada, population growth remained positive in the first quarter of 2008 as net in-migration offset a natural decline.  Population grew by 171 people to 508,270 from January 1, 2008 to April 1, 2008.  This is the third consecutive quarter of positive net in-migration resulting in a total population growth of almost 2,000 people.

�After 15 years of out-migration and population decline, it is refreshing to see another quarter of positive net in-migration and population growth,� said Minister Marshall.  �With several projects on the horizon, including Hebron, the White Rose expansion, the Voisey�s Bay processing facility, expansion at IOCC and the potential of Hibernia South, the Lower Churchill and other projects, tremendous opportunity exists for continued in-migration to the province.� 

The minister said he was especially pleased to read Statistics Canada�s Daily acknowledging a new era of prosperity in Newfoundland and Labrador, suggesting the ongoing commodity boom has offered the province a unique opportunity to tap into natural resources as never before.

�The Williams Government is ensuring that Newfoundland and Labrador takes full advantage of the opportunities provided by increased off-shore revenues,� said Minister Marshall.  �Our government has negotiated a development agreement on the White Rose Expansion and has a pending agreement on Hebron, both include an equity stake for this province and will see Newfoundlanders and Labradorian�s reaping maximum benefits.  And understanding these oil reserves are non-renewable, we will continue to ensure the revenues we get from these resources today are spent in sustainable ways that will provide benefits to the people of the province in the long-term.�

Minister Marshall said the story of Newfoundland and Labrador over the past five years is remarkable. �Who would have thought that in just five short years the province would progress from facing a near billion-dollar deficit to a situation where the Provincial Government tables four consecutive surplus budgets; has the ability to reduce our debt by almost $2 billion; goes from the highest average personal income tax rates in the country to boasting the lowest top marginal rate east of Saskatchewan; sees the unemployment rate drop to its lowest in 26 years; is on the cusp of have status; and now actually witnesses continued in-migration,� said Minister Marshall.

�This province is entering an era of prosperity and to ensure we reach our full potential, we have to continue on the fiscal path that has clearly been established by this government,� said Minister Marshall. �We must continue to reduce our net debt and make sound investments today in an effort to secure that bright future for the generations to come.�


Media contact:
Bill Hickey
Director of Communications
Department of Finance
709-729-6830, 691-6390

2008 06 26                                                        4:35 p.m.


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