Regional Development Corporation

Action plan for self-sufficiency in northern New Brunswick being developed (09/07/30)

NB 1063

July 30, 2009

DALHOUSIE (CNB) - The provincial government, with the support of committed stakeholders, is developing an action plan for self-sufficiency in northern New Brunswick. The plan will be launched this fall.

Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault, who is also minister responsible for the Northern New Brunswick Infrastructure Initiative, made the announcement today.

"The economic challenges that exist in northern New Brunswick must be addressed for the region to undergo significant growth and play a greater role in our province's efforts to be self-sufficient by 2026," said Arseneault. "To overcome these challenges, our government is developing an action plan that will identify specific actions for us to take to stimulate the northern economy and create jobs for people in the region."

Premier Shawn Graham and Arseneault will lead the development of the plan in consultation with stakeholders including: communities; economic development organizations; the Conseil Économique du Nouveau-Brunswick; the New Brunswick Business Council; social organizations; and other interest groups.

Louis-Philippe Gauthier, president of Conseil Économique du Nouveau-Brunswick, said the development of northern New Brunswick's economy has been one of the main preoccupations of francophone businesses over the years.

"We are delighted that the government is listening and that specific attention and efforts will be brought to bear on northern economic development," Gauthier said. "All of government must be tasked with this priority, as it will contribute to our collective success as a province."

Denis Losier, past chairman of the New Brunswick Business Council, said that the council, next week, will be releasing a paper containing 17 elements that it sees as an integral part of a comprehensive strategy for northern development.

"The council believes a vibrant northern economy is both possible and essential for New Brunswick to achieve self-sufficiency by 2026," Losier said. "The council is committed to working with northern business leaders and all levels of government to create and act on the opportunities that economic renewal can bring. Major strategic investments in infrastructure and key economic sectors will be required to make this joint effort successful."

The provincial government is focused on developing the economy in all regions of New Brunswick and ensuring that they have development plans and strategies.

"This plan will create opportunities for growth and new opportunities for people in northern New Brunswick," Arseneault said. "This initiative demonstrates our commitment to make strategic investments in northern New Brunswick, and we encourage the federal government and the private sector to do the same."

09/07/30

MEDIA CONTACT: Grégoire Carrière, Communications New Brunswick, 506-444-3694.

09/07/30