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April 12, 2012
MINISTER VALCOURT MEETS WITH ATLANTIC MAYORS AND AEROSPACE AND DEFENCE INDUSTRY LEADERS

Halifax, NS - Over the past two days, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie, met with municipal leaders from all across Atlantic Canada as well as members of the Atlantic aerospace and defence industry to discuss how all levels of government and the private sector can work together to create jobs and growth in Atlantic Canada.

“As outlined in our Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government of Canada remains committed to helping communities and businesses create good jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in every region of the country,” said Minister Valcourt. “Here in Atlantic Canada, our Government’s Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan is an important piece to achieve it. It will help small and medium-sized businesses from the four provinces to benefit from the $33 billion shipbuilding procurement strategy.”

On the evening of April 11, Minister Valcourt was the keynote speaker at the bi-annual meeting of the Atlantic Mayors Congress in Halifax. During his address to mayors and wardens from communities across Atlantic Canada, Minister Valcourt emphasized how both rural and urban communities will benefit from various measures outlined in the recent federal Budget 2012. The Minister cited measures such as the tremendous opportunities that will flow from the Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan and investments in public infrastructure such as the new two-year $150 million Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund.

During his breakfast meeting on April 12 with company executives who are members of the Atlantic Alliance of Aerospace and Defence Associations (AAADA), Minister Valcourt discussed opportunities and challenges relating to the Atlantic aerospace, marine and defence sector.

“The aerospace and defence industry is among the most robust and fastest growing sectors in Atlantic Canada, and a key driver of innovation and export growth,” said Minister Valcourt. “We discussed how targeted initiatives such as the Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan can spur significant business and job growth, how we can address issues such as labor force challenges, and where more support and collaboration may be needed to take full advantage of our economic opportunities.”

“Our Atlantic Alliance supports its provincially-based partner associations and stakeholders in pursuit of several pan-Atlantic objectives, while providing an effective regional voice on behalf of the region’s aerospace and defence sector,” said Steve Elder, President of the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Nova Scotia, and Co-Chair of AAADA. “Although the recent focus has been on combat ships, there are also several air and land programs where we need to promote the optimization of Industrial Regional Benefits (IRBs) for Atlantic companies, as well as the promotion of the capabilities of our member companies to prime contractors and federal departments such as the Department of National Defence, Industry Canada, and Public Works and Government Services Canada.”


FOR BROADCAST USE:

Over the last two days, ACOA Minister Bernard Valcourt met with municipal leaders from across Atlantic Canada as well as members of the Atlantic Alliance of Aerospace and Defence Associations. During these events, the Minister highlighted the Government’s jobs and growth measures as outlined in the March 29 federal budget and heard views from these groups on how governments and industry can work together to create economic prosperity in Atlantic Canada.

In a keynote speech last evening to the Atlantic Mayors Congress, Minister Valcourt emphasized how rural and urban communities alike will benefit from various measures outlined in the recent federal budget, specifically, the Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan, as well as investments to be made in communities and infrastructure.

At a breakfast meeting this morning, Minister Valcourt sought the views of business leaders who are members of the Atlantic Alliance of Aerospace and Defence Associations on topics such as the shipbuilding opportunities and how to get more Atlantic businesses involved in major supply chains.

-30-

INFORMATION:

Andréa Richer
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
613-790-3637

Chris Brooks
Communications Manager
ACOA Nova Scotia
902-426-4790

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