CENTRAL NOVA REPORT BY PETER MACKAY
The federal loan guarantee for the Maritime Link project saves ratepayers money, stimulates economic growth in Atlantic Canada, and facilitates the use of a renewable and stable source of electricity for generations to come.
This week I was pleased to join with officials from Nalcor, Emera Inc. as well as provincial government representatives from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador to mark the Government of Canada’s loan guarantee for the Maritime Link project.
The federal government’s loan guarantee, backed by Canada’s triple-A credit rating, has enabled Emera Inc. to dramatically lower borrowing costs. Finalized in March, the guarantee applies to up to $1.3 billion of debt for the project, securing projected savings of more than $1 billion in interest charges for ratepayers in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
This top credit rating is due to the strong fiscal management of our Conservative government. Our policy of low taxes, spending restraint, and balanced budgets, allows financing to be secured for vital public projects at low rates of interest.
With the development of hydro-electric resources and the construction of the Maritime Link, the island of Newfoundland will be connected to Nova Scotia and the North American grid for the first time.
These projects are a clear reminder of the crucial role natural resource development plays in creating jobs, growth and prosperity in every region of Canada. During the construction period, the projects will result in $2.2 billion in income for business and labour in Atlantic Canada. Emera estimates that the construction of the Maritime Link will create an average of 300 jobs per year during the construction period, with peak activity in 2016. This provides good job opportunities close to home for many rural Nova Scotia families.
The Lower Churchill projects are a game-changer for Atlantic Canada, a source of cleaner, more abundant energy for the people of this region – creating jobs, growth, and prosperity. The Federal loan guarantee is a crucial first step.
Peter MacKay is MP for Central Nova and federal Justice Minister.