Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

May 16, 2013 14:11 ET

Harper Government Congratulates Madawaska Maliseet First Nation on Opening of Grey Rock Power Centre

MADAWASKA MALISEET FIRST NATION, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwired - May 16, 2013) - Today, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and Member of Parliament for Madawaska-Restigouche, joined Chief Joanna Bernard of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation and the Honourable Madeleine Dubé, New Brunswick Minister of Social Development and MLA for Edmundston-Saint-Basile, to cut the ribbon to officially open the Grey Rock Power Centre located within Edmundston, New Brunswick.

"The Harper Government is delivering on its commitment to creating the right conditions for jobs and economic growth on First Nation communities," said Minister Valcourt. "Our Government recognizes the benefits of strengthening economic development in First Nation communities, and we are committed to making strategic investments, such as the Grey Rock Centre, so that community members can have access to job opportunities and therefore, an improved quality of life."

The Grey Rock Power Centre, a 70-acre commercial centre project, will provide economic benefits to the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation and surrounding communities through construction jobs, sustainable employment opportunities, land lease and provincial tax revenues, new business development and the establishment of tenant businesses. The Centre is expected to generate up to $300 million in sales, tax revenues, business start-ups and employment in its first eight years, according to estimates provided by the First Nation.

"The Maliseet people have occupied this river valley for thousands of years," said Chief Joanna Bernard. "We have known great despair - disease, poverty, social exclusion, the loss of language and culture - but in today's modern society, economic development is the key to achieving social parity; to reclaiming our status as a proud, independent people. This exciting project embodies the hopes and aspirations of my people. It represents a transition from the past to the future; from what was, to what will be."

The Madawaska Maliseet First Nation contributed $9.2 million to this commercial centre project. The federal government provided a total of $3.5 million: $3 million from the Community Economic Opportunities Program for water, sewer, electrical and road infrastructure, and another $500,000 under the Aboriginal Business Development Program towards the establishment of a Band member-owned anchor tenant. The Province of New Brunswick contributed $500,000 through its Northern New Brunswick Economic Development and Innovation Fund.

"Investing in new opportunities such as the Grey Rock Power Centre is a vital part of our plan to rebuild New Brunswick's economy and create opportunities in the Madawaska region and across our province," said Social Development Minister Madeleine Dubé on behalf of the Honourable Paul Robichaud, Minister of Economic Development. "The Grey Rock Power Centre is an excellent example of what can be achieved when everyone works together toward a common goal."

The Government of Canada remains focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and their personal financial security.

Madawaska Maliseet First Nation is located within Edmundston, NB. The community has 330 members, with an on-reserve population of 151. Find out more about Madawaska Maliseet First Nation here: Madawaska Maliseet First Nation community profile.

This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Andrea Richer
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt

    Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
    (819) 953-1160

    Madawaska Maliseet First Nation
    Chief Joanna Bernard