Belledune, New Brunswick, June 5, 2009 – The Port of Belledune will be expanded and improved thanks to a partnership between the governments of Canada and New Brunswick. The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of State for Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, along with Ms. Tilly O’Neill-Gordon, Member of Parliament for Miramachi, and the Honourable Shawn Graham, Premier of New Brunswick, together with the Honourable Roland Haché, Minister responsible for the Northern New Brunswick Infrastructure Initiative, today announced that Canada and New Brunswick will contribute almost $47 million towards this project.
“Stimulating our economy and keeping people working during these tough economic times is a top priority for our Government,” said Minister Ashfield. “Thanks to the strong relationship between our two governments, we can work together to support projects like the Port of Belledune, which will help ensure its long-term competitiveness and further stimulate the province’s economy.”
“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 Premier Graham. “This investment will better position the deep-sea port to provide shippers 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 at the Port of Belledune. These upgrades to the Port will enhance its operating and competitive capabilities. Total estimated eligible costs for this project are $61.2 million. The Government of Canada will contribute up to a maximum of $26.4 million for the project, with a contribution of $20.4 million from the Province of New Brunswick’s Northern New Brunswick Infrastructure Initiative.
“This project is a an excellent example of what can be accomplished in our region when you have the cooperation of the municipality, the provincial and the federal governments all working with the proponent to achieve a common goal,” said Rayburn Doucett, President & CEO of the Belledune Port Authority.
The federal $4-billion 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 Infrastructure Stimulus Fund will be announced shortly.
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 quickly and efficiently to municipalities in New Brunswick.
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 Infrastructure Stimulus Fund will focus on construction–readiness as important project selection criteria. The full $4 billion will be distributed in fiscal years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. Projects will focus largely on the rehabilitation of existing assets such as water, wastewater, public transit, highways, roads, culture, parks, and trails.
For more information, please visit: www.creatingjobs.gc.ca.
For more information about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, please visit: www.actionplan.gc.ca
Office of Canada’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister
613-948-1148 Bruce Macfarlane
Regional Development Corporation