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Day One at the Atlantic Mayors’ Congress:

Mayors support Lower Churchill hydro project, urge earliest possible completion

(HALIFAX, NS - Wednesday, April 6, 2011) Mayors from across Atlantic Canada gave a hearty endorsement today to the Lower Churchill Falls hydroelectric project, and urged project partners to work together toward its earliest possible completion.

In the first day of a three-day gathering, the Atlantic Mayors’ Congress heard about the benefits of Lower Churchill from Rick Jenega, President of Emera Newfoundland and Labrador and Derrick Sturge, Chief Financial Officer for Nalcor Energy, the government-owned utility in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“This project will generate much more than clean, reliable energy,” said Congress Chairman Mayor Peter Kelly. “It will generate thousands of jobs and a renewed spirit of regional cooperation.”

Nalcor and Emera have an agreement to make the first phase of the Lower Churchill Project a reality by 2017. The agreement, signed last November, in partnership with the provincial governments of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, establishes a framework to allow the 824 megawatts of hydro power generated at Muskrat Falls in Labrador to be delivered to customers in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and into U.S. markets through a combination of transmission lines and subsea cables.

The Mayors passed the motion of Happy Valley - Goose Bay Mayor Leo Abbass and Mayor Brad Woodside of Fredericton to support the project and urge its earliest possible completion. Lower Churchill will provide 17,000 person years of direct employment in the region and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 16 megatons.

The Congress opened with an Economic Symposium led by the Greater Halifax Partnership. In addition to the presentation on Lower Churchill, the Mayors also heard about initiatives to unite oceans research with business opportunities, the role of the Halifax Port Authority and the Halifax International Airport Authority in the Atlantic Gateway, and economic opportunities and challenges from the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council.

Formed in 2001, the Atlantic Mayors’ Congress meets twice a year to share information and to seek economic benefits through shared resources. Meetings continue Thursday and Friday, but are not open to the media either day. Mayors will be available to speak with media at Halifax City Hall after 4 p.m. on Thursday and after the sessions wrap up at noon on Friday.

Other areas that will be covered Thursday and Friday include municipal demographic trends and climate adaption planning, regional tourism and development, and municipal fiscal environments. Representatives from the HRM will give an update on funding of Public Sector Pension Plans and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) will provide their perspective on priority issues facing municipalities.

Resolution: Lower Churchill Falls Hydroelectric Project To PDF Acrobat Tips



Mayor Peter Kelly
Chairman, Atlantic Mayors’ Congress
Mayor, Halifax Regional Municipality