Budget 2009 outlines investments to increase economic activity and improve infrastructure in Labrador.
Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy said today the budget provides an investment of more than $135 million in Labrador through the Northern Strategic Plan - government's plan for building a future of opportunity and prosperity in Labrador.
"It is expected that more than $400 million will be spent over the course of the five-year plan," he said. "In this third year of a five-year plan, Phase III of the Trans-Labrador Highway will be completed.
"With an investment of $32.5 million, we will complete the highway from Cartwright to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, an historic accomplishment that matches in significance the completion of the Trans-Canada Highway on the island in the 1960s. For the first time in our history, there will be an unbroken road-and-marine route from Labrador City to St. John's. Not only will we complete the road connection in 2009, but we will also move forward with work to place a hard driving surface on the Highway from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Labrador City-Wabush with an additional investment of $52.3 million. That is a total of $84.8 million, including a federal contribution of $26.5 million for the Trans-Labrador Highway this year, and we will also invest another $4 million on top of that to construct two new depots on the Highway."
Other initiatives in the budget for Labrador include:
• $19 million for a new francophone school in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and two new K-12 schools in Port Hope Simpson and L'Anse au Loup;
• $9.5 million for construction of the new College of the North Atlantic campus in Labrador West;
• $5.5 million in new and ongoing funding through the Municipal Capital Works programs;
• $4.7 million for continued funding for the new health care facility in Labrador West; and,
• $2 million for the construction of a new pre-trial detention centre for women and youth in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Full budget coverage in Friday's Telegram.