Canada's New Government signs Memorandum of Understanding with Atlantic Provinces to develop an Atlantic Gateway strategy



    HALIFAX, Oct. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's New Government and the provinces
of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and
Labrador, today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
on the development of Canada's Atlantic Gateway.
    "Canada's New Government is delivering on its commitment to develop the
country's trade gateways and corridors. This milestone collaboration, advanced
in the spirit of open federalism, is an opportunity to strengthen Canada's
competitive position in international commerce," said the Honourable Lawrence
Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. "The Atlantic
Gateway Memorandum of Understanding will guide future investments and increase
Canada's overall competitiveness over the long term."
    The common vision of the five governments is to establish the Atlantic
Gateway as a strategic, integrated and globally competitive transportation
system, facilitating the movement of international commerce on North America's
east coast.
    "Canada's prosperity and quality of life depend on our success as a
trading nation," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of the Atlantic
Canada Opportunities Agency. "An Atlantic Gateway strategy will benefit the
Atlantic region and all of Canada by taking advantage of the region's
geographical position and transportation assets."
    "Strengthening Nova Scotia's position in the competitive world of
international commerce through the development of the Atlantic Gateway is a
top priority for the provincial government," said the Honourable Michael
Baker, Nova Scotia's Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable Angus
MacIsaac, Transportation and Public Works Minister. "Nova Scotia is committed
to pursuing this extraordinary opportunity in collaboration with our
provincial and federal partners."
    "New Brunswick is very pleased to sign this agreement," said New
Brunswick Transportation Minister Denis Landry. "This is a great opportunity
for New Brunswick, the Atlantic Provinces, and all of Canada. We look forward
to early action on the Atlantic Gateway because time is of the essence."
    "The benefits the Atlantic Gateway can provide this region are enormous,"
said Prince Edward Island's Minister of Transportation and Public Works Ron
MacKinley. "It will give businesses in Atlantic Canada, including Prince
Edward Island, a far better opportunity to access trade markets world-wide. We
applaud the federal government for recognizing Atlantic Canada as a vital part
of Canada's economic, and transportation future."
    "The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to be a part of
the on-going discussions regarding the Atlantic Gateway and is committed to
ensuring maximum benefits for our province," said the Honourable Trevor
Taylor, Newfoundland and Labrador's Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural
Development.
    Canada's New Government has developed the National Policy Framework for
Strategic Gateways and Trade Corridors to enhance Canada's competitiveness in
the rapidly changing global economy, by focusing on the transportation systems
that connect Canada with the world. It will guide investment and policy
measures in several gateway and corridor strategies, responding to unique
geographic, trade and transportation opportunities in key regions, including
Atlantic Canada.
    In addition, Canada's New Government's "Building Canada" infrastructure
plan, with a budget of $33 billion between 2007 and 2014, provides more
funding for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure, and for a
longer period of time than any federal government since the Second World War.
It includes $2.1 billion through the new Gateways and Border Crossings Fund to
improve the flow of goods between Canada and the rest of the world by
enhancing infrastructure at key locations, such as major border crossings
between Canada and the United States.

    A backgrounder with information about the MOU is attached.

    
                                 Backgrounder

             Memorandum of Understanding WITH ATLANTIC PROVINCES
                   TO DEVELOP AN ATLANTIC GATEWAY STRATEGY
                   ---------------------------------------

    The Government of Canada, represented by the Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities and the Minister of the Atlantic Canada
Opportunities Agency, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the
governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and
Newfoundland and Labrador, represented by their respective Ministers of
Transportation, that affirms each government's commitment to develop an
Atlantic Gateway strategy.
    This MOU provides the framework for collaboration between Canada and the
Atlantic provinces. It reflects the established principles and governance
structure of the Atlantic Gateway Federal-Provincial Officials Committee,
which was established in January 2007 following an agreement among key federal
Ministers, the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, and the Honourable Peter Mackay;
and the Honourable Angus MacIsaac, along with three other Atlantic Ministers
of Transportation, to work collaboratively towards an Atlantic Gateway
Strategy.
    The MOU outlines the objectives for the development of an Atlantic Gateway
strategy over the next 24 months, including analytical work required to map
and assess the multi-modal transportation system in the region that supports
international commerce activities.

    The main components of the MOU include:

        - A vision and objectives: a common vision of establishing the
          Atlantic Gateway as a strategic, integrated and globally
          competitive transportation system that facilitates the movement of
          international commerce.

        - A governance structure that establishes the Atlantic Gateway
          Federal-Provincial Officials Committee as the key forum for
          collaboration.

        - An action plan aligned with the National Policy Framework for
          Strategic Gateways and Trade Corridors, that will further define
          opportunities and challenges associated with increased trade
          volumes, including identifying potential impacts on the
          transportation system. Potential measures, including international
          marketing and promotion, are identified as priorities for
          optimizing the effectiveness and exploitation of the gateway.

    The success of the gateway approach depends upon partnerships and
collaboration, not only across modes of transportation but also across the
public and private sectors. For this reason, the MOU also identifies the need
to engage the private sector and other interested stakeholders. This effort
will build on existing relationships with key regional organizations and
associations, while tapping into expertise in the private sector, labour
groups and academia.
    The signing of this MOU follows the recently released National Policy
Framework for Strategic Gateways and Trade Corridors. This framework is based
on long-term planning and a
    systems-based approach to policy and investment issues, and will guide
investment decisions under the $2.1-billion Gateways and Border Crossings
Fund. Announced in Budget 2007, this fund will also help to position the
Atlantic Gateway in the broader national context, including linking it with
the other gateway and corridor strategies.

    For further information on the MOU and the National Policy Framework,
visit www.tc.gc.ca/gatewayconnects.

                                                           October 2007
    




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Cindy McInnes,
Communications Assistant, Office of the Minister of National Defence and
Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Halifax, (902) 240-4076;
Shalon McLachlan, Communications Advisor, Nova Scotia, Department of
Transportation and Public Works, Halifax, (902) 424-3289; Tracey Burkhardt,
Director of Communications, New Brunswick Department of Transportation,
Fredericton, (506) 453-5634; Andrew Sprague, Communications Officer, PEI
Department of Transportation and Public Works, Charlottetown, (902) 368-5112;
Scott Barfoot, Director of Communications, Department of Innovation, Trade and
Rural Development, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's, (709)
729-4570; This news release may be made available in alternative formats for
persons with visual disabilities.


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