Transportation and Works
Natural Resources
December 17, 2008

Provincial and Federal Governments Discuss Means to Stimulate Economy

The Honourable Trevor Taylor, Minister of Transportation and Works, led a delegation consisting of Provincial Government officials and Ed Martin, CEO and President of Nalcor Energy to the Atlantic Summit Infrastructure Conference in Halifax yesterday. Over the course of summit, Minister Taylor outlined a series of projects that could be potentially supported by the Federal Government to stimulate economic activity.

The summit included participation from ministers responsible for infrastructure and related interest groups from each Atlantic province. It was held in conjunction with a series of meetings that the Honourable John Baird, Minister of Infrastructure for the Federal Government, is hosting across Canada. Minister Baird�s meetings are intended to provide a means to identify ways to prioritize important infrastructure projects that can be moved forward quickly to help stimulate the economy.

"While Newfoundland and Labrador has recently achieved �have� status, recent events have clearly indicated that we are not immune to the global economic crisis," said Minister Taylor. "The meeting with Minister Baird provided a valuable opportunity to outline key, innovative infrastructure projects that provide immediate and long-term benefits. Our burgeoning ocean technology industry and strategic position in a Northern Gateway also offers significant benefits for Canada in the competitive, global environment.

One of the key initiatives discussed was the development of the Lower Churchill Project. Mr. Martin said the project is continuing to advance and presents the Government of Canada with a unique investment opportunity.

"Development of the project�s infrastructure will engage labourers, skilled trades and apprentices and support those workers that may be facing transition," said Mr.Martin. "Not only would the project help stimulate the province�s economy, it would also contribute to the country�s long-term quality infrastructure and assist in addressing concerns surrounding climate change."

The following are some of the other initiatives presented as ways the Federal Government could help stimulate the infrastructure sector of Newfoundland and Labrador:

  • Creation of the Canadian Oceans Development Agency to focus on fostering industry and institutional ocean development activities, including ocean technology research and development-related activities;
  • Designate Newfoundland and Labrador as the Northern Gateway to further position the province an international knowledge leader, technology-provider and operational pioneer in remote sensing, high-speed communications, research, modeling and information management tied to ocean and Arctic development;
  • Improve inter-modal access to port facilities;
  • Strengthen broadband capacity;
  • Construct a new facility in Newfoundland and Labrador to replace Her Majesty�s Penitentiary; and,
  • Proceed with Joint Supply Ships contract in Marystown.
  • "It is our hope that some of the hurdles that often slow down these types of projects can be removed and we can get these projects going as soon as possible," said Minister Taylor. "We recognize the significance of Minister Baird�s task and look forward to continuing dialogue in the future."

    Minister Taylor also took the opportunity to discuss the status of the provincial fishery with Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea.

    "I reminded Minister Shea of the significant challenges our fishing industry faces in the coming season as a result of the slow down in the American marketplace and access to credit as the result of the loss of Icelandic financial institutions," said Minister Taylor. "I also raised the need for the Federal Government to support aquaculture on the south coast of the province."

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    Media contacts:

    David Salter
    Director of Communications
    Department of Transportation and Works
    709-729-3015, 691-3577
    Leona Barrington
    Senior Communications Specialist
    Nalcor Energy � Lower Churchill Project
    709-737-1837, 693-7398

    2008 12 17                                                    4:40 p.m.

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