Managing Our Natural Resources — For Our Children and Our Future
Budget 2010 supports the Williams Government's commitment to sustainable resource development by investing significantly in the province's mining, energy, fishing, forestry and agriculture sectors. These investments will help create new development and market opportunities, attract business and investment, encourage research and development and assist traditional industries to diversify and remain competitive in the marketplace.
"Our natural resources fuel our economy and continue to provide us with tremendous opportunity for prosperity and growth, particularly in rural Newfoundland and Labrador," said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. "We have a responsibility to future generations to manage our natural resources so that our existing industries diversify and identify new markets so they continue to be the economic backbone of their communities. Our undeveloped resource potential is enormous and puts us in the enviable position to be able to pursue new and innovative opportunities to maximize the benefits from the development of our vast resources."
Renewing and Growing the Fishing and
"Our government's unwavering commitment to the province's fishing and aquaculture industries is demonstrated in the fact that the budget for the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has increased five-fold since the Williams administration took office," said the Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. "For hundreds of years, the people of our province have depended on the fishing industry and our marine resources to sustain their families and communities. The viability of this industry continues to be a huge priority for our government. We have seen tremendous advances in aquaculture in recent years and through the Fishing Industry Renewal Strategy, we continue to work with our industry stakeholders towards the vision of a viable and self-reliant fishery that benefits the rural and coastal areas of the province."
Budget 2010 will provide $1 million to the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI) for its operations and to create applied fisheries and aquaculture research. The CCFI will engage the expertise and facilities of Memorial University and the Marine Institute in its work. In addition, Budget 2010 contains $300,000 for the development and implementation of an oceans strategy for the province.
The aquaculture industry reached record levels of production in 2009. The market value of the aquaculture industry increased to $92 million in 2009, a rise of 45.9 per cent over the previous year. The continued growth and development in this sector has been largely in response to the high level of investment on the part of the Williams' Government and that is continuing. To build on the phenomenal growth in this industry, Budget 2010 will invest significantly in aquaculture infrastructure and research. These initiatives include:
Promoting Activity and Investment in the Mining Sector
As announced earlier this month, Budget 2010 will also invest $235,000 in the development of the province's first ever Minerals Strategy. The strategy will focus on expanding exploration and production activity and creating additional employment opportunities, while also ensuring environmental protection and the sustainable development of mineral resources.
Budget 2010 also reaffirms the Provincial Government's commitment to the remediation of contaminated sites. As announced on March 23, $10 million will go towards addressing environmental and safety issues associated with two former mines in the province, the former Buchans mine site and the former United States military base in Hopedale.
Supporting Our Forestry and Agriculture Industries
The Provincial Government also understands the challenges facing the province's only pulp and paper operation, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited, as it works with its employees to achieve efficiencies and increase competitiveness. Budget 2010 will provide a total of $15.4 million in assistance to the company. The assistance is in the form of increasing the province's share of the annual silviculture program, as well as foregoing the company's annual financial contribution to the forest inventory program, forest insect control program and managed land tax. In exchange for this assistance, the Provincial Government has reached an agreement with the company for certain licensed timber rights to revert to the Crown. Of the $15.4 million, $4.9 million is from the Community Development Trust.
The Forestry and Agrifoods Agency is currently developing a new agriculture strategy to identify the best approach to make this primarily rural industry more competitive, and to increase local food production and value-added processing opportunities. To increase local food production, more suitable land needs to be developed. To assist industry with its expansion plans, the Provincial Government is working with the Federal Government on a large-scale land development initiative. Budget 2010 contains a $2 million commitment over four years for the provincial portion of this initiative.
Investing in Our Energy Warehouse
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2010 03 29 2:20 p.m.
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