Feb. 16, 2010
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - The provincial government is investing an additional $35,000 in the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Geopark project in the Saint John region. Energy Minister Jack Keir made the announcement today.
"This investment will allow the Stonehammer Geopark committee to take another step closer in the application process of seeing Greater Saint John become the first UNESCO Geopark in North America," said Keir. "Securing an international Geopark designation will have a major impact on the local economy and provide significant growth in the tourism industry for the region and New Brunswick."
Keir was speaking on behalf of Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also the minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation
Funding from the Regional Development Corporation will help defray the costs of the application process. As part of this, a delegation from Greater Saint John will present its case to the fourth international UNESCO conference on Geoparks in Langkawi, Malaysia, in April. The announcement brings the province's total investment in the project to $60,000
"The Geopark committee is very appreciative of the provincial government's investment in this endeavour," said Bill Merrifield, chair, Stonehammer Geopark Project. "The Province of New Brunswick recognizes the significance of this designation for Greater Saint John and New Brunswick."
Joining Merrifield on the Saint John region's delegation will be other committee members including Godfrey Nowlan, chair of the Canadian Geoparks committee; Charlie Swanton, chair, Saint John Waterfront Development; Jane Fullerton, chief executive officer, New Brunswick Museum; and Gail Bremner, representing the tourism industry.
MEDIA CONTACT: Bruce Macfarlane, Regional Development Corporation, 506-444-4606; Bill Merrifield, chair, Stonehammer Geopark Project, 506-693-9499.