July 21, 2010
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - The provincial government is providing additional support to the Global Geopark Network project in the Saint John region. This project is supported by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
"This additional investment of $40,000 will allow the Stonehammer committee to take another step closer in the application process of seeing Greater Saint John become the first Global Geopark, supported by UNESCO, in North America," said Energy Minister Jack 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 spoke on behalf of Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also the minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation.
"This additional assistance from the Regional Development Corporation will ensure that we are able to present a high quality profile of southern New Brunswick to the Global Geopark evaluators," said Bill Merrifield, chair of Stonehammer Project. "It is important that we give them a true sense of our communities' engagement with Stonehammer. They will be keenly interested in the quality of our training and interpretation capacity as well as the overall quality of our aspiring Geopark. This additional funding will enable us to present as a Geopark in all but name and will solidify our proposal accordingly."
Funding from the Regional Development Corporation will help defray the costs of the final phase of the application process. As part of this process, a delegation of evaluators from the Global Geopark Network review committee will visit Saint John and Fundy region between Aug. 30 and Sept. 2 to evaluate the application. Today's announcement brings the provincial government's total investment in the project to $100,000.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Bruce Macfarlane, Regional Development Corporation, 506-444-4606; Bill Merrifield, chair, Stonehammer Geopark Project, 506-693-9499.