Feb. 10, 2009
CALGARY (CNB) - Premier Shawn Graham, representatives of the other Atlantic provinces and businesspeople from the region met yesterday with Alberta business and community leaders at a luncheon hosted by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.
Graham; Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz; Cecil Clarke, attorney general and minister of justice of Nova Scotia; and Shawn Skinner, minister of innovation, trade and rural development of Newfoundland and Labrador, led the delegation to expand trade, business opportunities and partnership between the Atlantic provinces and Alberta.
"We are in Alberta because New Brunswick believes strongly in the long-term competitiveness of the Alberta and Atlantic markets," Graham said. "New Brunswick is one of the most trade-active provinces. Amid the current global economic challenges, it is vital that governments and businesses continue to work together to eliminate trade barriers and position our economies for fast recovery. This mission provides an opportunity for Atlantic businesses to strengthen relationships with Alberta partners so that we can respond quickly and efficiently to Alberta's supply chain needs even in tough economic times. New and enhanced trade partnerships are integral to New Brunswick's growth and efforts to become self-sufficient by 2026."
Ghiz welcomed the opportunity to speak directly to Alberta's business leaders and to explain what Atlantic Canada has to offer.
"During this period of economic uncertainty, it is tremendously important that interprovincial trade is not only encouraged, but fostered through events such as this," said Ghiz. "Prince Edward Island has a strong trading relationship with Alberta. Our objective is to continue to support that relationship and to work with our Island businesses in promoting the products and services that they provide, and to identify new partnership opportunities that are mutually beneficial to Alberta and Prince Edward Island."
Clarke said Nova Scotia businesses have great confidence in the resilience of the Alberta market, and the province wants to continue to build on the partnerships established during previous trade missions.
"Appropriate economic stimulation and stabilization of commodity prices will lead to renewed exploration and development of energy resources," Clarke said. "Nova Scotia companies have world-class expertise and quality workmanship in metal fabrication, engineering, production, and design. We encourage business leaders in Alberta to continue to look east for their supply chain needs."
Skinner said Newfoundland and Labrador is a leading player in the world's energy economy, and through the development of its resources, the province has acquired extensive experience in some of the world's harshest environments.
"As a government, we believe that we can build on the positive, productive partnerships that have emerged between our provinces - partnerships that leverage the expertise and knowledge enabling us to maximize production and competitiveness." Skinner said. "We are confident that, through initiatives of this nature, we will be able collectively to target new opportunities and build upon existing relationships."
The CAP was formed under a memorandum of understanding by the Atlantic provinces in May 2000. It is committed to identifying and pursuing opportunities for joint action among the region's provincial governments. This commitment is intended to build on a strong foundation of regional unity and intergovernmental co-operation spanning more than three decades.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Picot, Office of the Premier, 506-453-6449.