Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

April 16, 2010 14:30 ET

Minister Strahl Announces Strategic Investments to Support Economic Growth in Atlantic Canada

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - April 16, 2010) - The Government of Canada continues to support economic development opportunities for Aboriginal communities throughout Atlantic Canada. The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, was joined today by Chief Lawrence Paul of the Millbrook First Nation and Chief Terrance Paul of the Membertou First Nation, as he announced nearly $6.3 million for Aboriginal economic development projects throughout Atlantic Canada. 

"Our Government continues to follow through on its commitment to make strategic investments across the country that will directly benefit Aboriginal communities and surrounding areas," said Minister Strahl. "Through these investments, new businesses, jobs and partnerships are being created, increasing the participation of Aboriginal communities in the region's economic opportunities and, in turn, boosting Canada's economy." 

The Government is contributing a total of $4.5 million over two years to different projects in the Millbrook and Membertou First Nations. Each First Nation will receive $2.25 million towards their respective project.

The Millbrook project will expand the First Nation's retail and business park, the Truro Power Centre. The Millbrook First Nation is contributing $2.3 million toward the expansion project. 

"In order for the Millbrook First Nation to reach self-sufficiency we must have the cooperation of the federal, provincial and municipal governments," said Chief Lawrence Paul. "We must go forward in the fields of economic development and education in order to achieve self-sufficiency. This development is part of the Band's holistic approach to making sure revenues and spin-off jobs contribute to a better standard of living for the community."

The Membertou project will involve the construction of a new two-lane road, approximately 2.4 kilometres in length, connecting the Membertou Business Park to the road network in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The Membertou First Nation is contributing $995,577 and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is committing $442,478 towards the project. 

"Funding for the Membertou Connector Road represents a strategic investment in vital transportation and economic infrastructure for Membertou and the greater community," said Chief Terrance Paul.

Both the Millbrook and Membertou projects will contribute to job growth and economic development opportunities for the First Nations and surrounding areas. In addition to these projects, the Government has invested $1.8 million in 30 other economic development projects across Atlantic Canada in 2009-2010. These economic development projects range from business development plans and expansions to environmental assessments and land development projects. The investments will benefit 10 Aboriginal communities and five First Nation organizations across the Atlantic region. 

"Our Government is working to create jobs and help workers and communities in Atlantic Canada get back on their feet," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Central Nova. "These investments also demonstrate the Government's continued recognition of the important role of Canada's Aboriginal people in our country's economic growth."

These investments further the goals of the Government's Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development, a modern and comprehensive approach that is opportunity-driven and puts emphasis on building strategic partnerships with Aboriginal groups, the private sector, and the provinces and territories.

This release is also available on the Internet at

Backgrounder – Aboriginal Economic Development in Atlantic Canada

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Press Secretary
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada