$19 MILLION FOR DREDGING – PM

HARPER ANNOUNCES MAJOR FUNDING FOR  SYDNEY HARBOUR DREDGING

(Laura Jean Grant – Cape Breton Post)

In his first visit to Cape Breton, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the federal government will contribute $19 million to the dredging of the Sydney harbour access channel.

Published on December 10th, 2010

Published on December 10th, 2010

(Nancy King – Sydney Post Record)

Feds announce funding to dredge access channel

SYDNEY — Prime Minister Stephen Harper made his first visit to Cape Breton on Friday, where he delivered the news that many local business and community leaders had awaited for months: his government will contribute $19 million to the dredging of the Sydney harbour access channel.

Topics :

Enterprise Cape Breton , Nova Scotia Power , Boskalis , Sydney , Cape Breton , Ottawa

The money, which will be provided through Enterprise Cape Breton Corp., will come over the next three months so that work can begin as soon as possible.

“By dredging Sydney harbour, we can unlock Cape Breton’s true economic potential,” Harper said.

The prime minister made the announcement in front of a friendly audience of invited guests, including local politicians and business leaders. The dredging is expected to cost a total of about $38 million.

The harbour offers opportunities beyond tourism, Harper said. The dredging project will create jobs in Cape Breton in the long term, he said, adding that new opportunities for shipping will arise with the return of mining jobs to the island. As trade destinations diversify, he said a revitalized Sydney harbour could attract more freight, particularly container traffic.

But before that can happen, the harbour’s access channel needs to be dredged, Harper said.

Premier Darrell Dexter called Friday a great day for Sydney, the municipality and the province. In June, the NDP government committed $15.2 million to the project, contingent on Ottawa coming in with its requested contribution.

“By dredging Sydney harbour, we can unlock Cape Breton’s true economic potential.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

“Today the Sydney harbour dredging project goes from concept to reality,” he said.

The dredging project alone will provide 100,000 person-hours of employment, Dexter said. It will then go on to support opportunities for container and shipbuilding and repair facilities, offshore oil and gas-related fabrication and other marine-related business, he said.

“The business case clearly says the dredging project would support other industries and help create a strong environment for economic growth,” he said.

As for why it took six months after the province came on board for Ottawa to do the same, Harper called it a complex and costly venture that hasn’t typically been tackled under federal programs.

“We had to look around for the right source of funding and the right authorities and we’ve done that,” he said.

CBRM Mayor John Morgan said the project will enable the region to grow.

(Hopefully this will get some of these nay sayers (no doubt part of the 15% unemployed) off their arses and to work. Otherwise we will have to import foreigners willing and able to do the job, which is not a bad idea – CAPER)

 

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