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Phase III of Labrador Hwy. set to roll

LABRADOR CITY, Nfld. -- Several ministers have announced details of the province's commitment to build Phase III of...

LABRADOR CITY, Nfld. — Several ministers have announced details of the province’s commitment to build Phase III of the Trans Labrador Highway.

Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ernie McLean and Works, Services and Transportation Minister Percy Barrett in Happy Valley-Goose Bay made the announcement last week. The ministers were joined by Torngat Mountains MHA Wally Andersen and Cartwright-L’Anse au Clair MHA Yvonne Jones.

“Given these times of restraint, I am pleased government has not ignored some of the pressing transportation needs in Labrador,” says McLean. “As announced in this year’s budget, government intends to invest some $100 million, or $17 million a year, to build Phase III of the Trans Labrador Highway, from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Cartwright, over a six-year period.”

Work will begin on the route following the completion of an environmental assessment.

The province has made a commitment to consult with the Innu Nation before any planning or work is done on Phase III. “We fully intend to follow through on that commitment,” says McLean. “As well, we will be seeking input from other stakeholders as we work through the process.”

The province will recognize $97.4 million from the Labrador Transportation Initiative Fund as general revenue this year.

“We have lived up to the commitments made in the Labrador Transportation Initiative, and the time has come for us to take the necessary steps to enhance our transportation systems,” says Barrett.

The minister went on to say that the province will continue to press the federal government into entering into an agreement that will see continued upgrading to the Trans Labrador Highway.

“The Trans Labrador Highway is vital to the economic and social growth of Labrador,” says Barrett. “Now that we’ve reached the stage where funding has been committed to complete Phase III, we believe it is imperative for Ottawa to enter into a funding arrangement that will result in the enhanced improvements to the highway.”

“The completion of the Trans Labrador Highway will have a tremendous social and economic impact on the entire region,” says Jones.

“The completion of the Trans Labrador Highway demonstrates government’s willingness to make the necessary decisions for it to act on its priorities. I am proud to be associated with a government that’s not afraid to make bold decisions in order to ensure a bright and prosperous future for all of Labrador,” says Andersen.

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