Local Government

Financial assistance to 15 northwestern communities (10/05/31)

NB 842

May 31, 2010

EDMUNDSTON (CNB) - The provincial government is investing $104,000 in new emergency communications equipment for 15 communities in northwestern New Brunswick.

The announcement was made on Friday, May 28, on behalf of Local Government Minister Chris Collins by Restigouche-la-Vallée MLA Burt Paulin.

"These funds will pay for the replacement of emergency radio and communications equipment due to an upgrade of the 911 service in the Madawaska-Restigouche area," said Paulin. "It means that, during a major disaster, communities and municipalities will be better able to communicate with each other."

The communities are: Saint-François-de-Madawaska, Clair, Lac-Baker, Baker Brook, Saint-Jacques, Saint-Joseph, Saint-Basile, Rivière-Verte, Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska, Saint-Léonard, Drummond, Grand Falls, Saint-Quentin, Kedgwick and Saint-Jean-Baptiste.

"We are pleased to provide this financial assistance," said Collins. "We believe this new emergency communications equipment will be a valuable asset to firefighters in our province. This kind of collaborative partnership between the Madawaska-Restigouche communities, the local firefighters and the Government of New Brunswick is essential as we work to become a self-sufficient province."

The upgrades are part of the Regional Fire Dispatch project led by the Department of Public Safety. A review of 911 and dispatch services between 2002 and 2004 identified the need for improvements. The first system was implemented in the Miramichi region in February 2007. The upgrades to the Edmundston region are expected to be in place by the end of next month.

"Our regional fire dispatch steering committee did an assessment of current services, and it came up with recommendations for standardized, equitable service throughout the province," said Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General John W. Foran. "We are pleased to support the fire service with these important improvements, which will help make New Brunswick safer."

Each year, the Department of Local Government invests $500,000 in capital projects to help local service districts buy emergency equipment or maintain fire halls and recreational facilities.

10/05/31

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark Barbour, communications, Department of Local Government, 506-444-4596.

10/03/31