Bridging local economies to the rest of the world

Peter MacKay
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Small craft harbours throughout Nova Scotia are vital to local communities. They are more than a picturesque addition to our provincial landscape - they are also an integral part of the infrastructure used by fishermen to contribute to the economy.
That's why our government is committed to making sure solid infrastructure is in place and in good repair to sustain the fishery.
Just this past March, the federal government invested $267,000 in the Arisaig Small Craft Harbour. This money is being used for a 21-metre extension to the wharf, installation of a new concrete deck and a new electrical system.
The government also committed almost $500,000 to the Queensport Small Craft Harbour to return it to safe operating condition. This includes replacing wharf decking, bracing, and ladders - all important work. There are also plans to strengthen the entire structure.
These are just two examples of the federal government keeping on top of these needs and making sure that required improvements are made - just as we did with the Wharves at Pictou Landing, Bailey's Brook, Pictou Island, and others.
This work is essential to maintain the links that make up Canada's Atlantic Gateway - a portal of enormous opportunity for this region and for the broader North American marketplace.
To help us achieve that full potential, our government has set aside $60 million to implement a Global Commerce Strategy. A real strategy with real support behind it, to accomplish three critical objectives:
‰ Boost Canada's participation in global networks;
‰ Connect Canadian companies to global opportunities; and
‰ Expand Canada's access to global markets through new trade negotiations.
Canada's prosperity is built on trade. Our future depends on it. One in five Canadian jobs is directly linked to international trade. Atlantic Canada has an untapped capacity to handle increased traffic volumes.
Trade creates jobs. Trade generates opportunity. Trade improves our standard of living for individuals, for communities and for nations.
In a nutshell, the Atlantic Gateway is our competitive advantage. This was also the focus of much discussion at the 38th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Development Bank, which I hosted in Halifax this past week.
I look forward to seeing that discussion on the Gateway turn into action, and I am excited about the potential for increased prosperity it presents for us in Central Nova.

Peter MacKay is MP for Central Nova, Minister of Defence and Minister responsible for ACOA

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