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BELLEDUNE (CNB) - Federal, provincial and municipal officials joined members of the Belledune Port Authority today on a progress tour of $61.2-million infrastructure improvements at the deep-water port in northern New Brunswick.
Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault, who is also the minister responsible for the Northern New Brunswick Initiative, and Miramichi MP Tilly O'Neill-Gordon, joined Rayburn Doucett, chief executive officer and president of the Belledune Port Authority, for the tour.
"This event demonstrates our investment in the Port of Belledune's expansion project is working," said Arseneault. "It also shows that this deep-sea port will be in a better position to provide shippers with easy access to global markets and allow New Brunswick to continue moving toward self-sufficiency."
The Port of Belledune is undergoing improvements to the terminal, modifications and expansion upgrades, which will enhance the port's operating and competitive capabilities.
"The Port of Belledune is one of many stimulus projects that our government is proud to have contributed to across New Brunswick to create jobs and strengthen our economy," said O'Neill-Gordon. "As we enter the second phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan, our government's priority will be to continue its rapid implementation of efficient infrastructure, such as the Port of Belledune improvements, that will benefit communities for years to come."
O'Neill-Gordon spoke on behalf of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Minister John Baird.
In June 2009, federal and provincial governments announced up to $46.8 million in funding towards the port's infrastructure improvement and upgrade project. The Government of Canada will contribute up to $26.4 million, complemented by a contribution of $20.4 million from the Province of New Brunswick's Northern New Brunswick Infrastructure Initiative.
"This significant infrastructure expansion project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2011 and will allow the Port of Belledune to continue to play a significant role in the economic well being of the Northern New Brunswick region," said Arseneault. "Maintaining an economically healthy region is of critical importance to the port.
"As stated in our Action Plan for Self-Sufficiency in Northern New Brunswick, the northern industrial corridor and it's anchor developments, such as the Port of Belledune, is our first priority," he said. "Our investment in the Port of Belledune symbolizes the beginning of the transformation of northern New Brunswick's economy. The port will support the opportunity for modular fabrication and component construction industries."
MEDIA CONTACT: Marie-Josée Groulx, Communications New Brunswick, 506-444-3465; Infrastructure Canada, 613-948-1148.