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Minister Reports on Successful Northern Development Ministers’ Forum

Executive Council
September 26, 2013

At the 2013 Northern Development Ministers’ Forum in Fort McMurray, Alberta, the Honourable Nick McGrath, Minster Responsible for Labrador Affairs, provided ministerial colleagues from across Canada with an update on recent and ongoing mining and resource developments as well as the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development. The Minister also spoke about the work of the Lower Churchill Senior Officials Working Group and the Labrador West Regional Task Force as examples of how the Provincial Government is working with stakeholders and communities to address the challenges that come with major development.

“Our province’s economy is experiencing unprecedented growth fuelled, in part, by major energy and natural resource development in Labrador,” said Minister McGrath. “As a northern region, Labrador faces many of the same challenges and opportunities as other northern jurisdictions in Canada. This forum allows ministers to collaborate to find ways to ensure sustainable development, manage change and foster conditions for social and economic advancement for northern people, families and communities.”

The Northern Development Ministers’ Forum provides federal, provincial and territorial ministers representing Canada’s North an opportunity to advance common interests and raise awareness of northern issues and accomplishments. The theme of this year’s forum, which took place from Sept 22-25, was Energy for All.

After hosting last year’s forum in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and showcasing Labrador to colleagues from across the country, Minister McGrath was pleased to have the opportunity to view major developments in other northern regions.

“I had the opportunity to tour the oil sands in the Wood Buffalo region of Alberta as well as the McArthur River Uranium Mine Site in Saskatchewan – both are massive, world-class developments,” said Minister McGrath. “It was very informative for me to view these developments first-hand and to see how other jurisdictions are managing growth and change brought on by major developments.”

During the meetings, Minister McGrath proposed the topic of managing change as a priority project to be presented at next year’s forum with an expert panel to discuss the challenges they have had and how they managed change. This proposal was accepted and Newfoundland and Labrador will lead the initiative in advance of next year’s meetings.

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Media contact:
Roger Scaplen
Director of Communications
Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs
Labrador Affairs Office
709-729-1674, 697-5267

2013 09 26

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