June 5, 2009
BELLEDUNE (CNB) - A partnership between the provincial and federal governments will see the Port of Belledune expanded and improved. Premier Shawn Graham; Minister responsible for the Northern New Brunswick Infrastructure Initiative Roland Haché; Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Keith Ashfield; and Miramichi MP Tilly O'Neill-Gordon announced today that the governments will contribute almost $47 million toward the project.
"Our investment in the Port of Belledune's expansion project will not only put people to work, but it symbolizes the beginning of the transformation of northern New Brunswick's economy," said Graham. "This investment will better position the deep-sea port to provide shippers with easy access to global markets, and allow New Brunswick to continue moving forward on the road to self-sufficiency."
Funding will support terminal improvements, modifications and expansion upgrades, which will enhance the port's operating and competitive capabilities. The total estimated eligible costs for the project are $61.2 million. The Government of Canada will contribute up to a maximum of $26.4 million, with a contribution of $20.4 million from the Province of New Brunswick's Northern New Brunswick Infrastructure Initiative.
"Stimulating our economy and keeping people working during these tough economic times is a top priority for our government," said Ashfield. "Thanks to the strong relationship between our two governments, we can work together to support projects such as the Port of Belledune, which will help ensure its long-term competitiveness and further stimulate the province's economy."
The $4-billion federal Infrastructure Stimulus Fund is a key component of Canada's Economic Action Plan. The fund invests in provincial, territorial and municipal construction-ready infrastructure rehabilitation projects that will be built during this year's and next year's construction seasons. More projects under the fund will be announced soon.
Federal financial support for these infrastructure improvements is conditional on meeting all applicable eligibility and approval requirements under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, and on the Port of Belledune raising its share of the funding for the project.
Canada and New Brunswick are working together to create jobs and boost the economy, while making significant investments that help communities improve their infrastructure. Both governments have agreed to work together to ensure that these funds are delivered to municipalities in New Brunswick quickly and efficiently.
The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund complements existing and long-term federal infrastructure funding by focusing on short-term objectives for economic stimulus. To further this goal of rapid economic stimulus, the fund will focus on construction-readiness as important project selection criterion. The full $4 billion will be distributed in fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11. Projects will focus largely on the rehabilitation of existing assets such as water, wastewater, public transit, highways, roads, culture, parks, and trails.
More information on infrastructure funding and Canada's Economic Action Plan may be found online.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Bruce Macfarlane, corporate secretary, Regional Development Corporation, 506-444-4606; Chris Day, press secretary, Office of Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister, 613-991-0700; Infrastructure Canada, 613-948-1148.