DEVELOPING OUR INFRASTRUCTURE
Mr. Speaker, this year, Government will manage the largest ever highway
construction program in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador - a total of
$108 million in new expenditures on 453 kilometres of highway.
Mr. Speaker, this amount includes $36 million for the construction of the
- 130 kilometres between Cache River and Churchill Falls will be upgraded,
- 42 kilometres between Churchill Falls and Wabush will be resurfaced, and
- the environmental assessment, engineering and planning for the section
between Red Bay and Cartwright will be completed.
On top of these investments on the Trans-Labrador Highway, Government will
spend an additional $72 million on provincial road construction and
improvements. Under the Federal/Provincial Transportation Initiative, $56
million has been tendered this year for work on the Trans-Canada Highway and
major trunk roads.
This year, for the first time, Government will take responsibility for the
coastal Labrador ferry services. This transfer of responsibility from the
federal government was a major part of the $350 million Labrador Transportation
Initiative signed last spring. These funds have been dedicated by legislation
for improvement of Labradorís transportation infrastructure.
We will be making positive changes to the coastal Labrador ferry rates and
schedules. There will be no rate increases for the first time in five years. In
most cases, minimum rates for shipping freight and vehicles will be reduced. The
rate charged to ship heavy equipment to Community Councils in Labrador will be
cut in half. We will continue to work with communities on the Labrador Coast to
make the service more responsive to their needs.
Mr. Speaker, the former MV Prince Edward will be integrated
into the Fogo/Change Islands service. The ferry currently in use there, the
MV Beaumont Hamel,
will transfer to the Bell Island service to join the MV Flanders. These
changes will provide a more efficient service to these communities. As well, $1
million in improvements will be made to their docking facilities.
Government is committed to investing in our communities and alleviating
municipal debts. We will spend $26.6 million to improve municipal infrastructure
in communities throughout the Province. Before year end, $3
million will be invested in the Newfoundland and Labrador Municipal Financing
Corporation to assist with municipal debt restructuring.
St. Johnís Civic Centre
As was the case last year, Mr. Speaker, Government remains committed to
working with the appropriate municipal governments, the private sector, and the
federal government toward the construction of a Regional Civic Centre for the
St. Johnís area.
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