As your Member of Parliament, my priority is to represent your interests and advocate on your behalf. In recent months I have been working collaboratively with many of my colleagues who also represent smaller, northern, and isolated communities to ensure that the voices of rural Canadians continue to be heard. I’m very pleased to share with you some exciting news that has resulted from that important work.
On February, 16th, 2018, Hon. Mr. Sohi, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced that for communities of 5,000 people or fewer, the federal government will be increasing the amount that it contributes to infrastructure projects from 50% to 60%. We will also require that the province continue to contribute at least 33% of the project cost, which means that small communities will only need to contribute a maximum of 7%. By reducing the capital contribution required from small communities, we are reducing the burden on their budgets and helping ensure they can direct their funding towards providing services that residents rely on every day, such as public works, snow removal, and local policing. This decision will support communities across Labrador in building vital infrastructure ensuring that our communities benefit from our Government’s historic investments in infrastructure.
I truly believe that small communities can drive their own infrastructure agenda with far more success when both Federal and Provincial Governments step up with the needed financial investments. I am proud to say that the Federal government has supported critical infrastructure investments across Labrador including, over $321,000 in Labrador West for improvements to the Menihek Ski Club, supporting Cain’s Quest and the Labrador West Chamber of Commerce centre; an investment of $158,685 in Port Hope Simpson from the Innovative Communities Fund to restore the J.O Williams Company House and convert it into a interpretation and visitor centre; an investment of $438, 980 in partnership with the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay to undertake phase two of restoring the stream and wetland habitat on Birth Island; and finally, an investment of over $13,000,000 dollars through the Connect to Innovate program, which will improve internet connectivity across Labrador.
I am committed to continuing to work with local leaders to advocate for more investment across the Big land. Labrador is a dynamic territory with resilient, strong and compassionate people and together we can ensure that it remains one of the best places in the country to call home.