Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sloth Bear Cub Born At U.S. National Zoo in Washington

Sloth Bear in the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. Photo By Asiir
Our sloth bear Hana gave birth to one cub on December 19, 2012.

National Zoo’s Sloth Bear Gives Birth to a Cub

The female sloth bear at the Smithsonian's National Zoo gave birth to a single cub on Monday, Jan. 9. The cub was born in an inside den at the National Zoo's sloth bear exhibit.

National Zoo staff are monitoring the cub and its 11-year-old mother, “Hana,” via a camera mounted in their den, but Zoo veterinarians and keepers will not examine the cub for at least several weeks. They do not want to disturb the mother and cub during the critical first few weeks of the cub’s life to allow them time to bond. Zoo staff also hope to determine the cub’s gender at that time.

This is the third cub for Hana; she gave birth to two cubs in December 2004, but both cubs died within four days of being born. At birth, sloth bear cubs are very small, fragile, and dependent on maternal care. They are known to stay in their dens until they are two or three months old, and will stay with their mother for two or three years. Female bears are known to carry their young on their backs with the cubs holding on to the mother's long shaggy fur.
Young bear cub on mother.  Photo By L. Shyamal

No photographs or video of the cub are available. The cub's father, 24-year-old “Merlin,” may still be seen at the Zoo's sloth bear exhibit near the sea lion exhibit.

When Asia Trail opens this fall, sloth bears will be the very first animals Zoo visitors see when entering the main gates on Connecticut Avenue. They are one of seven species to be exhibited on the Zoo's Asia Trail, which will also include clouded leopards, Asian small-clawed otters and giant pandas. Asia Trail is scheduled to open in October.

Sloth bears are native to the tropical deciduous forests of India and Sri Lanka, with no solid estimate of how many remain in the wild. Sloth bears usually mate in early summer and females give birth six to seven months later. It is unknown how long sloth bears live in the wild, but these bears have lived up to 40 years in zoos. They are listed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

JANUARY 19, 2013
Time flies: Our sloth bear cub is one month old today! Hana continues to be very attentive to him or her, and keepers are still monitoring the pair closely through their closed-circuit cam. Because the cub’s dark hair is growing quickly, it’s getting tougher to spot. (If it turns just so, the white patch of fur on its chest gives its location away!)

Even if keepers can’t always see the cub nursing, they can hear that distinctive suckling sound as well as some typical squeaks and squawks. On occasion, they spot Hana and cub pawing at each other as though they are playing! Exercising those limbs is important, and the cub is almost on the go! It can push itself up using it’s front legs, but it has not yet mastered using its back legs. It will be another few weeks before it’s fully crawling and climbing aboard mom’s back.

DECEMBER 21, 2012
Forget two turtle doves—we’ve got two bearing bears! Our 18-year-old sloth bear Hana gave birth to a single cub around 8:30 a.m. on December 19, 2012—which happens to be her birthday, too! Animal care staff are keeping a close watch on the cub through a closed-circuit TV camera, and it appears both bears are doing great. Mom is very attentive, and the cub has successfully nursed. If the cub thrives, it will be a few months before it goes on exhibit. On warm winter days, Zoo visitors can watch the cub’s father, Francois, sunning himself on Asia Trail.

JANUARY 30, 2013
Hana and the cub continue to do well! Keepers are seeing the cub sit up more but it still hasn’t tried to climb onto Hana’s back. Hana leaves the den more frequently and eats small snacks on a daily basis, but she still spends the majority of her time in the den with the cub. We occasionally see Hana sitting next to the cub or going into the tunnel connecting the den to her outer enclosure, coming back to nuzzle the cub briefly, and then repeating. We wonder if she’s teaching that it’s okay when mom leaves because she’ll always come back? The cub is certainly becoming calmer when she leaves the den and not screaming at the top of its lungs like it did during those first few weeks!

Disheveled in appearance, the sloth bear leads a reclusive life in India's forests, noisily seeking out insects and fruits.
Sloth bears have shaggy, dusty-black coats, pale, short-haired muzzles, and long, curved claws that they use to excavate ants and termites. A cream-colored "V" or "Y" usually marks their chests. Sloth bears' nostrils can close, protecting the animals from dust or insects when raiding termite nests or bee hives. A gap in their teeth enables them to suck up ants, termites, and other insects.
Sloth bears grow five to six feet long, stand two to three feet high at the shoulder, and weigh from 120 (in lighter females) to 310 pounds (in heavy males).
Most sloth bears live in India and Sri Lanka; others live in southern Nepal, and they have been reported in Bhutan and Bangladesh.
The sloth bear is listed as vulnerable on the World Conservation Union's Red List of Threatened Animals.
Sloth bears live in a variety of dry and wet forests, and also in some grasslands, where boulders and scattered shrubs and trees provide shelter.

Lighthouses of California: Oakland Harbor Light


Nearest City: OAKLAND
U.S.C.G. District: 11
Year Station Established: 1890

NPS photo by Ralph Eshelman, 1996
Existing Historic Tower:
Year Light First Lit: 1903
Is the Light Operational? NO
Date Deactivated: 1966
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE PILINGS
Construction Materials: WOOD
Relationship to Other Structures: INTEGRAL
Tower Height:
Year Original Lens Installed:
Present Optic: REMOVED
Year Present Lens Installed:
Height of Focal Plane:
Fresnel Lens Disposition:
Has tower been moved? YES
Previous Tower(s):
1. Construction Date:
Modern Tower? NO

Yosemite Today

Yosemite, the high Sierras and the Yosemite Valley at 7:41 this morning.

Yosemite Weather Today: Sunny, with a high near 48. East northeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable in the morning.
Tonight Clear, with a low around 23. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph in the evening.

Road Improvements To Benefit Island Communities

Strategic investments will improve the safety and efficiency of Island roads and bridges while creating and maintaining jobs for Islanders, says Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Robert Vessey.
“Our government is pleased to invest in road and bridge projects that help keep the travelling public safe while improving the quality of life for Islanders,” said the minister. “Investments in roads and bridges also help accelerate growth in our Island economy through the creation of jobs for Islanders and the efficient transportation of goods.”
The first round of tenders for the 2013 construction season was released today. The projects represent an investment of nearly $5 million in Island communities. Additional tenders will be announced at a later date.
Projects include:
Loane Road Bridge – Structure replacement;
Borden-Carleton, Route 1 – Road construction consisting of cold planing (milling) and paving 2.4 kms;
Crapaud/Kelly’s Cross, Route 13 – Road construction consisting of cold planing (milling) and paving 2.74 kms;
Millview/Hermitage, Route 3 – Road construction consisting of cold planing and placing two lifts of asphalt for a distance of 1.9 kms;
Primrose/Cardigan, Route 4 – Road construction consisting of cold planing and placing two lifts of asphalt for 1.8 kms;
South Pinette, Route 1 – Road construction consisting of cold planing and placing two lifts of asphalt for a distance of 1 km;
Tracadie Cross, Route 2 – Road construction consisting of cold planing, resurfacing and constructing a left turn lane;
Unionvale, Route 142 – Road construction consisting of widening, cold planing and placing two lifts of asphalt for a distance of 1.72 kms; and
Winsloe/Milton Station, Route 2 – Road construction consisting of cold planing and paving for a distance of 1.5 kms.
To learn more about tendering opportunities please visit

One-Job Pledge Initiative Launched To Stimulate New Brunswick Economy

The New Brunswick government is creating a new initiative, called the One-Job Pledge, to help businesses create quality jobs and new opportunities for recent graduates in the province. Photo shows Premier David Alward at the initiative announcement.

FREDERICTON (GNB) – The New Brunswick government is creating a new initiative, called the One-Job Pledge, to help businesses create quality jobs and new opportunities for recent graduates in the province.

Premier David Alward made the announcement today at LuminUltra Technologies Ltd., a leading biotechnology and information technology solution provider based in Fredericton. He was joined by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Danny Soucy and Pat Whalen, president and chief executive officer of the company.

"Slow global growth means New Brunswick businesses are having difficulty creating jobs, and New Brunswick graduates are having difficulty finding career opportunities here at home," said Alward. "The One-Job Pledge initiative is an investment in our young people as well New Brunswick businesses that are poised to grow despite challenging economic circumstances. Working with New Brunswick businesses to create jobs is a key part of our government's plan to rebuild New Brunswick."

Under the One-Job Pledge, New Brunswick businesses that qualify will receive a one-year wage incentive when they hire, a permanent, full-time employee who graduated from a post-secondary institution in the past four years. These businesses must pay a minimum salary of $14 per hour. The initiative will allow for the reimbursement of 70 per cent of the salary to a maximum of $10 per hour for 52 weeks.

The New Brunswick government is creating a new initiative, called the One-Job Pledge, to help businesses create quality jobs and new opportunities for recent graduates in the province. From left: Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Danny Soucy; Premier David Alward; Stephen Spence, president of the New Brunswick Student Alliance; and Pat Whalen, president of LuminUltra Technologies Ltd.
"A post-secondary educated workforce is the key to attracting industries and investment to our province," said Soucy. "In a world where the competitive edge relies on technological advances and capitalizing on resources such as people, investing in the development of young New Brunswickers is a viable option for organization wishing to remain, or become, competitive in the global marketplace."

The One-Job Pledge is part of the Workforce Expansion Program administered by the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.

"Our company welcomes the opportunity to participate in the launch of the One-Job Pledge Initiative," said Whalen. "As a New Brunswick-based employer, I recognize the importance in creating quality opportunities for our recent post-secondary graduates here at home. Their talent and energy are indispensable components in the sustainable development and growth of high-tech companies such as ours, especially given today's global economic climate."

The Workforce Expansion Program is among several initiatives made possible through the Canada-New Brunswick Labour Market Development Agreement and the Canada-New Brunswick Labour Market Agreement. More information is available by calling the nearest provincial employment office or by visiting the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour website.

Help to Prevent Winter Slips, Trips and Falls

(Ottawa, ON) - Significant snow falls and bone-chilling temperatures following thaws have created slippery driveways, stairs and walkways, increasing the risks of injuries for everyone. Canada Post is asking home and business owners to help keep everyone safe, including delivery employees, by clearing snow and ice as soon as possible after a snowfall.

The slippery conditions are especially widespread in much of Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador and the interior of British Columbia right now – but they can occur suddenly anywhere in the country at this time of year. Icy conditions hidden by a coat of fresh fallen snow can be particularly hazardous.

Here are some tips on how to help:
-Shovel regularly to remove snow, ice, and other debris from walkways, driveways, and around mailboxes;
-Put salt down to melt existing ice on stairs, walkways, and driveways;
-Put sand down as an extra precaution to ensure a safe walking surface.

Canada Post delivery employees each travel close to 10 kilometres and deliver mail to some 1,000 doors every day. Clear walkways make a big difference. Canada Post appreciates the cooperation of residents across the country in helping our employees stay safe this winter.

Tax Savings For Tradespersons

Did you know?

If you were an employed tradesperson in 2012 (including an eligible apprentice mechanic), you may be able to deduct up to $500 of the cost of eligible tools bought to earn your employment income.

Important facts

An eligible toolis a tool (including associated equipment such as a toolbox) that:
-you bought to use in your job as a tradesperson and was not used for any purpose before you bought it;
-your employer certified as being necessary for you to provide as a condition of, and for use in, your job as a tradesperson; and
-is not an electronic communication device (like a cell phone) or electronic data processing equipment (unless the device or equipment can be used only for the purpose of measuring, locating, or calculating).
For more details on how to calculate the deduction for tools, go to

If you are an eligible apprentice mechanic, you may be able to claim an additional tools deduction. To be eligible, you must be registered in a program that leads to a designation as a mechanic licensed to repair self-propelled motorized vehicles, and you have to be employed as an apprentice mechanic. To see if you qualify, go to the Employed apprentice mechanics page at

The MaineSail Journal: "All Hands On Deck"

"All Hands On Deck"  By Doug Mills
All hands on deck as the Lewis R French sets sail for The Great Schooner Race.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Yosemite Today

Yosemite Falls at 11:07 this morning.
Yosemite Weather Today: Sunny, with a high near 48. East northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
Tonight Clear, with a low around 27. East northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Time Travel Comes to Winterlude

Photo By Aconcagua

Time Travel Comes to Winterlude
Get a taste of Louisbourg’s 300th anniversary

Ottawa, Ontario, January 29, 2013 -- Louisbourg was once a bustling seaport, a hub for trade and transport on the Atlantic, a multicultural, multilingual community and France’s prize in the new world. Today, it is the largest historical reconstruction in North America, welcoming thousands of visitors each summer who interact with costumed animators at this once-mighty French fortress of the 1700s.

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the founding of Louisbourg. To kick start the celebrations, Parks Canada is bringing some of the sights, sounds, smells and flavours of the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site to the 2013 Winterlude Festival.

“This is a treat for Winterlude visitors who will have a wonderful opportunity to experience a sense of the Fortress of Louisbourg right here in Canada’s capital,” says Parks Canada CEO Alan Latourelle. “As Parks Canada gears up to celebrate Louisbourg300, Canadians are invited to rediscover this key chapter in our history and to start planning their trip to Louisbourg which was recently named the #1 place to visit in Canada in 2013.”

During the first three weekends of February, Winterlude visitors at Jacques Cartier Park will get a taste of life in 18th century Louisbourg, literally. Historic hot chocolate will be served as visitors mingle with Louisbourg residents and make their own tricorne hat – a must-have fashion item of the era.

Founded in 1713, Louisbourg was described as the most suitable place for settlement on l’île Royale (present day Cape Breton Island) and quickly grew into a thriving multicultural, multilingual community of 5,000 people. This diverse population came together sharing the goal of building a good life based on the resources and promises of the island and its surrounds.

To celebrate Louisbourg’s legacy, Parks Canada has a full line-up of events and activities scheduled for the 300th anniversary. These activities include concerts; a cultural fair showcasing music, dance, food and the arts; a harbour festival and new programs to immerse visitors in 18th century life. To learn more about the Louisbourg300 celebrations in 2013, visit

To find out more about Parks Canada at Winterlude, visit

Located on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast, Louisbourg was named The Best Place to Visit in 2013 by

Canada Helps Syrians Affected By Ongoing Conflict

Canada helps Syrians affected by ongoing conflict
Canada is supporting humanitarian efforts to meet immediate emergency needs - including food, water, shelter, medical care and safety - of people affected by the Syrian crisis, announced the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation. Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), will continue to support humanitarian partners to help people affected by the Syrian crisis, particularly those who have fled to neighbouring countries such as Jordan.

"We are deeply concerned with the ongoing violence in Syria," said Minister Fantino. "Canada's support is saving lives and addressing the most acute needs of those affected by the Syrian crisis."

Since early 2011, more than 700,000 people have fled the violence in Syria due to the deteriorating humanitarian situation. It is estimated that 60,000 people have died in the ongoing conflict, with thousands more wounded. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Syrian, up to four million people inside Syria, including two million who are internally displaced, are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Today's announcement of an additional $25 million brings Canada's total humanitarian response since January 2012 to over $48 million in support of those affected by the Syrian crisis. This assistance will be delivered through Canadian humanitarian organizations and international agencies. Minister Fantino made this announcement at the first High-Level International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, held in Kuwait City, Kuwait.

"We call for all donors to follow through on their pledges and act on their humanitarian commitments", concluded Minister Fantino. "To ensure the ongoing effectiveness of humanitarian assistance during this evolving crisis, Canada, along with the international community, continues to call for full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need."

The Government of Canada will continue to monitor the situation and respond further, as appropriate.

Trade Mission To Africa

Minister Fast Leads Trade Mission to Africa
First trade mission of 2013 to focus on key opportunities for Canadian workers and businesses in fast-growing markets

January 27, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, announced today that he will lead a trade mission to Nigeria and Ghana from January 27 to February 1, 2013. Representatives from 28 Canadian companies and organizations, predominantly from the extractive and infrastructure sectors, will participate in the trade mission.

“Exporting Canada’s world-class goods, services and expertise to new, fast-growing markets around the world is a key part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Fast. “This mission to Africa—my first trade mission of 2013—is an important part of that plan.”

Africa is one of the fastest-growing economic regions in the world. According to the International Monetary Fund, five of the world’s 20 fastest-growing economies are in sub-Saharan Africa. Between 1995 and 2011, average annual GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa was greater than 4.9 percent.

“I look forward to working with mission participants, who have the technologies and expertise that can help developing countries advance and manage their natural resource industries responsibly while fostering prosperity, job creation, poverty reduction and good governance,” added Minister Fast.

Canadian companies excel in mining, oil and gas extraction, and infrastructure development, including power and energy generation—areas that are in high demand in developing economies.

Canada’s bilateral merchandise trade with Nigeria reached $2.7 billion in 2011, up nearly 44 percent over 2010; bilateral merchandise trade with Ghana reached almost $322 million in 2011, up 61 percent over 2010.

The MaineSail Journal: "Onboard the Victory Chimes"

"Onboard the Victory Chimes"  By Doug Mills
Onboard the Victory Chimes During the 2013 Great Schooner Race off Rockland Maine.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

NASA to Launch Ocean Wind Monitor to Space Station

PASADENA, Calif. - In a clever reuse of hardware originally built to test parts of NASA's QuikScat satellite, the agency will launch the ISS-RapidScat instrument to the International Space Station in 2014 to measure ocean surface wind speed and direction.

The ISS-RapidScat instrument will help improve weather forecasts, including hurricane monitoring, and understanding of how ocean-atmosphere interactions influence Earth's climate.

"The ability for NASA to quickly reuse this hardware and launch it to the space station is a great example of a low-cost approach that will have high benefits to science and life here on Earth," said Mike Suffredini, NASA's International Space Station program manager.

ISS-RapidScat will help fill the data gap created when QuikScat, which was designed to last two years but operated for 10, stopped collecting ocean wind data in late 2009. A scatterometer is a microwave radar sensor used to measure the reflection or scattering effect produced while scanning the surface of Earth from an aircraft or a satellite.

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have studied next-generation replacements for QuikScat, but a successor will not be available soon. To meet this challenge cost-effectively, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and the agency's station program proposed adapting leftover QuikScat hardware in combination with new hardware for use on the space station.

"ISS-RapidScat represents a low-cost approach to acquiring valuable wind vector data for improving global monitoring of hurricanes and other high-intensity storms," said Howard Eisen, ISS-RapidScat project manager at JPL. "By leveraging the capabilities of the International Space Station and recycling leftover hardware, we will acquire good science data at a fraction of the investment needed to launch a new satellite."

ISS-RapidScat will have measurement accuracy similar to QuikScat's and will survey all regions of Earth accessible from the space station's orbit. The instrument will be launched to the space station aboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft. It will be installed on the end of the station's Columbus laboratory as an autonomous payload requiring no interaction by station crew members. It is expected to operate aboard the station for two years.

ISS-RapidScat will take advantage of the space station's unique characteristics to advance understanding of Earth's winds. Current scatterometer orbits pass the same point on Earth at approximately the same time every day. Since the space station's orbit intersects the orbits of each of these satellites about once every hour, ISS-RapidScat can serve as a calibration standard and help scientists stitch together the data from multiple sources into a long-term record.

ISS-RapidScat also will collect measurements of Earth's global wind field at all times of day for all locations. Variations in winds caused by the sun can play a significant role in the formation of tropical clouds and tropical systems that play a dominant role in Earth's water and energy cycles. ISS-RapidScat observations will help scientists understand these phenomena better and improve weather and climate models.

The ISS-RapidScat project is a joint partnership of JPL and NASA's International Space Station Program Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, with support from the Earth Science Division of the Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

Yosemite Today

Yosemite Valley and the High Sierras at 9:43 this morning.

Yosemite Weather Today: Sunny, with a high near 54. West wind 3 to 7 mph.
Tonight Clear, with a low around 36. Light and variable wind.

Delaney Seavey On The Road To Miss Teen USA

Delaney Seavey in the final interview.

Delaney Seavey On The Road To Miss Teen USA
By Doug Mills
RCN America Network
Rockport Maine- Today we crown the new Miss Maine Teen USA.  The lines at the doors started early and got long in hopes of scoring that perfect seat for the pageant.  For the girls this adventure started a long time before this night.  Each of the teens competing tonight has already won a pageant title.  Tonight is the culmination of many months of preparation and competition to bring them to compete in this elite competition.  The winner tonight will represent the state of Maine in the Miss Teen USA contest.
Delaney Seaver

Who would have thought that in 1952, a local "bathing beauty" competition spearheaded by Catalina Swimwear in Long Beach, CA would transform into an international annual tradition with countless young women around the world vying to become a part of Miss Universe history? As millions of fans have watched around the globe, the contest has evolved into a powerful, year-round,  international organization that advances and supports opportunities for these young women.

These women are savvy, goal-oriented and aware. The delegates who become part of the Miss Universe Organization display those characteristics in their everyday lives, both as individuals, who compete with hope of advancing their careers, personal and humanitarian goals, and as women who seek to improve the lives of others.

This pageant started last evening with the preliminary competition.

Pageant Competition:

Each Contestant will compete in three equal phases of preliminary competition: swimsuit, evening gown, and interview. The scores from the preliminary phases of competition are added up, and the contestants with the highest composite scores become semifinalists. The number of semifinalists will be between 10 and 15, and will be determined by the total number of contestants in the competition. Scoring is based on the following:

Miss Maine Teen USA final swimsuit competition.
Swimsuit: each contestant is evaluated on her physical fitness, stage-presence, and overall impression.
Evening Gown: each contestant is evaluated on grace, poise, style, stage presence, the confidence with which she carries herself, and overall-impression.

Before the judges each contestant is evaluated on her physical fitness, stage-presence, and overall impression.
Interview: preliminary interviews are personal one-on-one style. You will have interviews with each of the five judges. It's very comfortable and conversational. Contestants are scored on their communication skills, and personality. They are NOT scored on their opinions or personal beliefs.

Miss Maine Teen USA evening gown competition.
Once the semifinalists are announced during the final show, they will again compete in swimsuit and evening gown. These two phases of competition will narrow the field to a group of five finalists.
The top-5 will then each have an on-stage interview conducted by the emcee. After the top-5 interviews, the judges will select a winner, 1st runner-up, 2nd runner-up, 3rd runner-up, and 4th runner-up in each age group.

Tonight the top five girls will be chosen and compete in swimsuit, interview and gown at the end of this evening one girl will be chosen to represent the State of Maine at the Miss USA competition.  The girls are in the dressing rooms nervously preparing for the performance of their lives.

In the end when all is said and done it is Delaney Seavey who will go on to represent Maine in the Miss Teen USA.
Delaney Seavey
Olivia Latham

Delaney Seavey

Miss Maine Teen USA, a walk to remember.

Miss Maine Teen USA before the judges.

Trans Labrador Highway to be widened and resurfaced

photo by guyvail

Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, January 28, 2013 – Motorists, residents and businesses across Labrador will soon benefit from major improvements to the Trans Labrador Highway.
The governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador today announced a joint investment of $85,057,332 to begin widening and paving Phases II and III of the Trans Labrador Highway between Red Bay and Happy Valley-Goose Bay. At approximately 1,200 kilometres long, the Trans Labrador Highway is the region's primary public road crossing some of north-eastern Canada's must remote terrain.
"Our government is proud to support these significant highway improvements that will create numerous local jobs, drive economic growth and strengthen our communities," said the Honourable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Regional Minister for Newfoundland and Labrador, and Member of Parliament for Labrador. "The Trans Labrador Highway is a vital link for Labradorians, our economy and our tourism industry. These upgrades will help connect workers with jobs, products with markets and travellers with destinations."
"A few short years ago the final metres of gravel for the Trans Labrador Highway were placed to create the first continuous connection across Labrador," said the Honourable Paul Davis, Minister of Transportation and Works. "Today we take the next step towards the completion of this great project by continuing to widen and pave the highway from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Red Bay. This is one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the province, and a key component of our government's unwavering commitment to the people of Labrador."
Under the Building Canada plan, Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador have partnered to provide strategic funding for priority infrastructure needs. Through the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund, the Government of Canada is providing $175 million to strengthen infrastructure in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Since 2006, the Government of Canada has made unprecedented investments in public infrastructure. Through the Gas Tax Fund alone, municipalities across the country have received over $10 billion in transfers for local priorities. Making this fund permanent at $2 billion annually was part of Canada's Economic Action Plan – a plan to help create good jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Between 2007 and 2014, Newfoundland and Labrador municipalities will receive close to $113 million from the Gas Tax Fund to improve local infrastructure.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is making strategic investments in infrastructure to encourage economic growth and provide a strong foundation for future development. Budget 2012 People and Prosperity provided approximately $900 million for infrastructure improvements, of which $310 million was invested in various transportation and works infrastructure initiatives, including $65.8 million to call tenders to complete Phase I of the Trans Labrador Highway. The Provincial Government has made Labrador's needs and opportunities a provincial priority and, by the end of this fiscal year, more than $3 billion overall will have been spent in Labrador since 2004.
For additional information about federal investments in infrastructure and to stay up-to-date with Web feeds, visit Infrastructure Canada's website.
To find out what the Government of Canada is doing to promote jobs, growth and prosperity, visit Canada's Economic Action PlanExternal link, Opens in a new window website.