Building Canada: Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador sign $430-million infrastructure agreement - Highway improvements to Trans Labrador Highway and Argentia Access Road to be jointly funded



    ST. JOHN'S, Dec. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - To better address the infrastructure
needs and priorities of Newfoundland and Labrador, the governments of Canada
and Newfoundland and Labrador today announced the signing of a Framework
Agreement worth more than $430 million in federal contributions under Building
Canada, the Government of Canada's new long-term infrastructure plan. The
Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on behalf of the
Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities, along with the Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of
Transportation and Works for Newfoundland and Labrador, participated in
today's announcement.
    The governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador today also
jointly announced that improvements to the Trans Labrador Highway and
upgrading of the Argentia Access Road will be among the first funding
priorities under Building Canada. The Government of Canada will provide up to
$51.5 million, representing a maximum of 50 per cent of total eligible costs
of these initiatives, after the successful conclusion and signing of a Base
Funding Agreement.
    "The signing of a Building Canada Framework Agreement between the
Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador will address
infrastructure needs and priorities that will improve the province's
communities, economy and environment," said Minister Hearn. "The federal
investment in these first two initiatives is an example of how Building Canada
is helping to ensure that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have modern, safe
and efficient infrastructure."
    "Addressing the provincial infrastructure deficit is one of the top
priorities of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador," said Minister
Whalen. "This agreement with the Government of Canada provides a blueprint for
infrastructure revitalization that complements the Provincial Government's
$2 billion infrastructure strategy and will significantly impact
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians."
    The infrastructure Framework Agreement sets the stage for a collaborative
investment in the infrastructure needs of Newfoundland and Labrador. Under
this Agreement, $131.33 million from the Building Canada Fund will go towards
infrastructure initiatives in Newfoundland and Labrador. Of this amount,
$56.33 million will be allocated to smaller-scale projects in communities with
populations of less than 100,000. As well, $75 million of the Building Canada
Fund will be dedicated to major infrastructure projects, including investments
in St. John's, particularly in priority areas such as the core National
Highway System, transit, water and wastewater treatment and green energy.
Under the Framework Agreement, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador will
also receive $25 million annually in base funding, for a total of $175 million
through to 2014 for core infrastructure priorities. A further $124.66 million
will flow to Newfoundland and Labrador municipalities through the extension of
the Gas Tax Fund Agreement from 2010 to 2014.
    The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Framework Agreement outlines how the
Building Canada Plan will operate in the province. It also establishes a
governance framework through which the two governments will work together to
identify and address infrastructure priorities. Through the Agreement, the two
governments will also establish a mechanism for reporting to Canadians on the
results of these investments.

    Through its unprecedented $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure
plan, the Government of Canada will provide long-term, stable and predictable
funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada will
support a stronger, safer and better country.




For further information:

For further information: media inquiries: Karine White, Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, (613)
991-0700; Infrastructure Canada, (613) 948-1148l; David Salter Director of
Communications Department of Transportation & Works, (709) 729-3015; For
further information on the Building Canada plan, visit
www.buildingcanada.gc.ca


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