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N.L., Quebec to work together on mining, transportation

Outside of the House of Assembly on Monday afternoon, Premier Dwight Ball offers an update on the latest in the response to new U.S. tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper products made in Canada, including at the mill in Corner Brook.
Premier Dwight Ball - Ashley Fitzpatrick/File

Premier Dwight Ball will be part of an announcement in Quebec Thursday of two new agreements between Newfoundland and Labrador and its neighbour.

After a meeting of the Council of the Federation in Edmonton in July 2017, the provinces agreed to negotiate the agreements.

One is to co-operate, largely in information sharing, to support mining in the Labrador Trough and the other is an agreement to develop a new corridor for economic exchange, with the extension of Route 138 on the lower North shore of Quebec.

That road has the potential to link Kegaska to Blanc Sablon, and ultimately tie in to Labrador’s Route 510.

Ball said the new road route could link in to any future fixed link between Labrador and the island of Newfoundland.

“This is really a new transportation corridor for Canada. Nearly three-quarters of the goods and services that come into Newfoundland and Labrador would come in (from) outside of the Atlantic provinces, so Quebec west,” Ball said Wednesday, pointing to benefits in terms of food security and tourism.

As for mining in the Trough, the provinces seek to reduce any duplication of requirements — red tape — for the companies interested in setting up in the area, given it straddles the border.

Ball said there are “tremendous opportunities” to improve the situation there, specifically shared information from geotechnical work.

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