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Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador enter into a cooperative agreement Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador partner to develop the Labrador Trough and enhance road infrastructure

Québec, April 12, 2018 – The governments of Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador are working together to grow their respective economies by developing the Labrador Trough and improving road infrastructure. This collaboration will facilitate the development of mining potential, as well as promote the creation of high-quality jobs to benefit Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in both provinces. The two provinces will also work together to improve transportation infrastructure, further developing an economic corridor that links Québec to l Newfoundland and Labrador.

Today, in Québec City, Québec Premier Philippe Couillard and Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball announced the new partnership.

With a view to developing the Labrador Trough, this agreement provides for the following joint works aimed at enhancing collaboration in the following areas of shared interest:

  • geotechnical information and land use planning;
  • infrastructure for the mining sector;
  • labour and skills;
  • telecommunications development;
  • enhancements to government processes and business supports.

With respect to the improvement and extension of road infrastructure, this agreement provides for the continuation on the part of the Québec government of construction work on Route 138 and the improvement of Route 389 in the coming years. Note that the last Québec budget earmarked an amount of $232 million for the extension of Route 138 as part of the Plan Nord.

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador commits to continue improvements already underway on Route 510 and since taking office have paved or upgraded 334 lane kilometres of the Trans Labrador Highway. The province has also recently released a prefeasibility study that assesses the opportunities of a fixed link between Labrador and the island of Newfoundland.

Quotes:                  

“With the signature of this agreement, our relationship with Newfoundland and Labrador is entering a new phase. We share a common vision and the partnership announced today is testament to that vision. The partnerships announced for the mining and transportation sectors will allow us to grow both the Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador economies. Let’s not forget that, since we have been in office, the Québec economy has been transformed and our commitment to our partners in the Canadian federation has grown stronger.”

Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec

“This cooperative agreement holds exciting potential.  By working together we can leverage the strengths of our internationally-recognized mining industry to invite new investment, mining activity and job creation.  We are also better positioned to advance transportation infrastructure that strengthens trade corridors and bolsters economic and community development.  I am optimistic of the potential that will come from this agreement as it will benefit Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, Quebecers and all Canadians.”

Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“The cooperation agreement between Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador will make it possible to build joint projects that benefit all of our citizens. In particular, it will allow us to develop the considerable mining potential of the Labrador Trough and facilitate access to northern territories by creating a land transportation corridor that links Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador. Today’s agreement offers promising prospects in terms of economic development for our businesses and the citizens of our two provinces.”

Pierre Moreau, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Plan Nord

“As a result of this agreement, our province and Quebec will work cooperatively to further stimulate the development of new mining and employment opportunities within Labrador. We recognize that collaboration is key to future growth in the Labrador Trough. Together with Quebec, we will advance geotechnical knowledge and assess required infrastructure. In the coming year, we will continue this momentum by partnering with community stakeholders and Mining NL to develop a responsible, sustainable and competitive framework for mining growth in our province.”

Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources

“This agreement between the governments of Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador is fully aligned with the objectives for strengthening our bilateral ties set out in the Policy on Québec Affirmation and Canadian Relations. The policy invites both Quebecers and Canadians to engage in ongoing harmonious, constructive dialogue that will strengthen ties. This new partnership between our two provinces also strengthens the political and economic ties between Québec and the Atlantic provinces, which will be beneficial for all of our communities. Québec intends to keep promoting dialogue with all of its partners in the Canadian federation, for the benefit of Quebecers and Canadians.”

Jean-Marc Fournier, Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie

“Newfoundland and Labrador remains committed to complete paving of the Trans-Labrador Highway. In the last three years, we have paved and upgraded 334 lane kilometres along its length. We have an additional 168 lane kilometres underway, and will be awarding tenders for a further 210 lane kilometres of work this year. In the context of this new agreement, when combined with the extending of Route 138 in Québec, the project is a nation-building initiative that could connect Canadians from coast to coast, create a more predictable trade corridor and bolster economic and community development.”

Steve Crocker, Minister of Transportation and Works

Highlights:

  • The 1,200-km Labrador Trough holds major deposits of iron and other minerals, including rare earths.
  • Both premiers announced the beginning of talks on cooperation on July 19, 2017, in Edmonton, in parallel with a meeting of the Council of the Federation.
  • On December 11, 2017, both governments also signed a new cooperation agreement on the Francophonie as well as a declaration on Canadian Francophonie which demonstrates their shared commitment to ensuring the sustainability of French in Canada.