MEMBERTOU, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 15, 2012) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Premier Darrell Dexter, Province of Nova Scotia and Chief Terrance Paul of Membertou Band, announced today funding for the construction of the Highway 125 Interchange.
The $7 million project will provide access from Highway 125 to Membertou-owned lands and will provide a direct link between the highway and Membertou Reserve lands. The interchange will also create opportunities for the First Nation to expand economic development in the area.
"The Harper Government continues to make critical infrastructure investments that will benefit Aboriginal communities and surrounding areas, and create economic development possibilities," said Minister Duncan. "Our investment into the Highway 125 Interchange is the direct result of a strong partnership between our government, the Province of Nova Scotia and Membertou Band, all of whom share a vision of healthier, more self-sufficient First Nation communities."
"The province is pleased to invest in this important project that will connect people, services and businesses on both sides of Membertou Band, serving as a unifying link to prosperity," said Premier Dexter. "Chief Paul deserves much credit for driving the positive changes underway in his community - changes that are growing the local economy and developing new jobs and opportunities for the people of Membertou. This new interchange will help build on that momentum."
"The Highway 125 Interchange Project is significant to Membertou for two reasons: community and economic development," said Chief Terrance Paul. "The construction of the interchange will provide increased opportunities for the commercial development but more importantly, this interchange will reconnect our reserve lands and provide access to these lands for new housing developments. With the sheer growth of our population and the growth of our businesses, expansion to the opposite side of Highway 125 is welcomed and necessary."
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, through its Community Economic Opportunities Program, will be contributing $3 million over two years for the project. The Province of Nova Scotia will contribute up to $3 million for the design and construction of the overpass and Membertou Band will contribute $1 million.
Work on the project will begin in September 2012 and include the design, construction engineering, and construction of the bridge span and ramps. The project is expected to be completed by December 2013 and will create jobs for Membertou members as well as residents of the surrounding region.
Membertou is situated in the city of Sydney, Nova Scotia, within the tribal district of Unamaki (Cape Breton), and has a population of 1,288, with approximately 835 members living on-reserve.
This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
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