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May 9, 2016
For immediate release
Roads to resources recognize Prince Edward Island’s vibrant economy
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New eligibility for federal-provincial infrastructure funding has been expanded to include Prince Edward Island’s collector roads - important local routes that connect many of our ports, farm communities, manufacturers and exporters to national and international markets.
Premier Wade MacLauchlan was joined by Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and MP for Cardigan, Provincial Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Paula Biggar, and Joe Murphy of the P.E.I. Roadbuilders Association today in Poole’s Corner for the announcement.
“This announcement allows flexibility to direct federal and provincial infrastructure funding to projects where it will bring the greatest benefit to Island communities and the Island economy,” said the Premier. “These are the roads to resources that build our economy and allow communities to prosper by moving our goods from the wharf to the marketplace, from the farm to the consumer, and from processing plants and manufacturing facilities to global clients.”
Prince Edward Island has led Canada for the last two years in exports and is predicted to do so again in 2016. Communities throughout Prince Edward Island are vital in driving this export growth, through agriculture, fisheries, and manufacturing. This highlights the importance of modern, high-quality and safe infrastructure to get Island products to markets around the world.
The new arrangement will strengthen communities, create economic development through direct and in-direct jobs, and position Island businesses for growth and new employment opportunities.
"Across our province, many roads are in great need of repair and they now qualify for funding to assist getting products to markets. The province will greatly benefit from these changes to the New Build Canada Fund and I look forward to working together with my provincial colleagues so we can grow the economy in all regions of this province," said Minister MacAulay.
Previous to this new arrangement with the federal government, eligibility under the New Building Canada Fund required roads to have 10,000 vehicles per day in order to qualify for federal funding, limiting investments to Route 2 and the Trans-Canada Highway. Under the new changes to the, that is reduced to1,000 vehicles per day.
Prince Edward Island has 830 kilometres of collector roads – important local routes that connect many of our ports, farm communities and exporters to highways. Approximately 60 per cent of this network would meet the threshold of 1,000 vehicles per day.
The inclusion of collector roads is the result of lengthy negotiations and strong representation from the provincial government, led by the Premier, with the federal government. The efforts of Prince Edward Island spurred the change for all provinces and territories in Canada, with the openness of the new Federal Government, led by the Prime Minister, allowing for these changes.
“I’m pleased to see we will be able to cooperate with our federal partners to invest in these roads to resources that help our rural industries succeed and thrive,” said Minister Biggar. “This is the direct result of extensive collaboration between our respective governments.”