Economic spinoff, jobs imminent: Kelly

Katherine Hudson
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MHA for the Humber Valley Darryl Kelly says the west coast will benefit from the economic spinoff and jobs that are produced by development projects such as the Lower Churchill and the Trans-Labrador Highway.

DEER LAKE — The completion of the Trans-Labrador Highway, a busy ferry crossing the Strait of Belle Isle from Blanc Sablon to St. Barbe and the recent announcement of the $6.2-billion Lower Churchill River hydroelectric development project is going to mean an increase in traffic on the west coast.

According to regional chambers of commerce this will help position the area in the direction of a more upbeat economy.

Desmond Ball, secretary of the Deer Lake Chamber of Commerce, said Deer Lake is strategically located to benefit wholeheartedly.

“Our airport will see a lot of benefits from the traffic to and from the airport,” said Ball.

“The Trans-Labrador Highway, it opens up a different part of the province that we’ve never had access to before which is southern Labrador.”

He said any time there are major construction projects there is economic spinoff in areas such as building supplies and the housing market.

“We are located so close to the airport, people are just going to choose to live here. Deer Lake is in the best location because we can gobble up the eastbound traffic and the northbound traffic and at the end of the day it will be busy. The traffic is going to be the generator to and from Labrador and traffic to and from the Muskrat development,” said Ball.

Maurice Simmonds, president of the St. Anthony Chamber of Commerce, agreed there will be economic benefits.

“The Trans-Labrador Highway has opened up the area for a lot of vehicular traffic and increased tourism and of course the Lower Churchill deal no doubt is going to generate a lot of new revenue in the province and proportionally, we’ll see some benefits from it,” he said.

He said the proposed route for the transmission lines connecting power from Labrador through to the rest of the province is located about 100 kilometres away from St. Anthony and therefore away from a lot of the activity.

“St. Anthony has a lot of services here could possibly benefit from it and I’m sure it’s not too far away for people to commute to do some work there when the jobs become available,” said Simmonds.

MHA for the Humber Valley Darryl Kelly said the project will provide economic stimulus and jobs for Newfoundlanders, with about 2,700 people from a number of different trades to be hired.

“Any time you have a project that can hire 2,700 at its peak is significant. Then there’s the ongoing upkeep and maintenance … That’ll be a benefit to people looking for employment,” he said.

“The magnitude of the spinoff to the service sector, it could be cleaning, engineering work. All the engineering work is going to be done in this province.”

Kelly said education opportunities may be available to train and enhance the skills of workers.

“There is great likelihood that we will certainly benefit in a very significant way from this project. This is big. This is a project that we need here in Newfoundland,” he said.

Organizations: Trans-Labrador Highway, Deer Lake Chamber of Commerce, St. Anthony Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: DEER LAKE, Newfoundland, Southern Labrador St. Anthony

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  • westcoaster
    December 05, 2010 - 10:42

    More spinoff for Deer Lake Airport, plane lands in sville cant get feul so they have to fly to Deer Lake. Sville wondering if they should have bought that old de icer truck or bought more feul for their empty tanks.LOL just another nail for yjt...... Fly YDF they have the services

  • westcoaster
    December 01, 2010 - 17:30

    I hope our goverments Provincial, and Federal dont waste anymore money on the money pit yjt.... Fly YDF

  • westcoaster
    December 01, 2010 - 17:23

    The planes will land in Deer Lake because it is the only Airport on the west coast with passenge service. New Terminal New Runway, and a new service road. Cant wait for them to stike oil Fly YDF... native nler you grasping at straws now.lol Good Luck Buddy

  • Native NLer
    November 30, 2010 - 11:08

    Wouldn't it make more sense for Wabush and Goosebay airports to attract more service from potential airlines? And if anywhere on the Island, wouldn't it make more sense to see the St. Anthony Airport grow as a result of any air traffic? Why Deer Lake Airport? The service once was offered from Stephenville, later taken and moved over to Deer Lake, why can't the same happen and move the traffic to St. Anthony? Why would a person in Corner Brook or Deer Lake mind the 3 to 4 hour drive anymore than the driver currently faces from Port Aux Basques and Port au Port to reach the only airservice at Deer Lake? Actually seeing the length of the West Coast, it would probably make a lot more sense to go back to the idea of two strong airports, one on each end of the West Coast, St. Anthony and Stephenville and downsize the Deer Lake airport. I think the western Coast would be so much better serviced equally. Who knows, as a result this could very well happen. Smart business people in NL should be able to make this happen for the betterment of the people, one would think.

  • gawker
    November 29, 2010 - 15:20

    I hope Deer Lake is ready for the surge in travellers. It is not the most presenting spot for a big center when you've driving downt the Northern peninsula for 3 hours. No MacDonalds, Walmart, pretty slim picking which cause most to take the 20 and drive into Corner Brook. Deer Lake needs a plan to harness this tourism potential !

  • W McLean
    November 29, 2010 - 14:47

    You've been able to drive from Deer Lake, via the Straits ferry, the length of southern Labrador, ever since "Phase II" of the TLH opened through to Cartwright in 2002.

  • Native NLer
    November 29, 2010 - 10:32

    I Would hope to see St. Anthony Airport benefit from this development, and as long as dirty politians don't direct the air movement out of and into Deerlake, the St. Anthony, YAY airport should be the one to benefit over the Deer Lake airport. Why is it anything that comes near the Western Coast of the Island, even if it is hours drive from the YDF, we see the YDF grow as a result? I guess once they hit oil in Port au Port, the YDF will also grow, even though the YJT is only 20 minutes from the oil site in Port au Port.

  • Andrea
    November 29, 2010 - 09:03

    MHA Kelly, please don't count your chickens before they're hatched. The Muskrat Falls deal is far from a sealed and done deal. So many hurdles to covercome, the Labrador Aboriginals, Federal Funding, Environmental Assessments... The muskrat falls deal is at best a positive outlook for our Humber Valley.. but I think that you are jumping the gun on this one... the deal is too far into the future to be talking about 'imminent jobs' cut the pre-election propaganda and tell your interim leader to get back to the real issues like our current healthcare crisis.

  • Barb
    November 29, 2010 - 08:58

    Wow, now that Danny is gone, our MHA's are allowed to speak publicly again... this is the first time in ages that I have seen Darryl Kelly speak publicly. He must realize that he actually has to do some work to get re-elected in October... ohh.. the PC back-benchers are shivering in fear now. Vote NDP or Liberal in Humber Valley. PC Backbenchers did nothing for the last 7-8 years and should be ousted in October.

  • Willi Makit
    November 29, 2010 - 08:34

    ''Imminent''? From a fairy tale project? The only thing imminent is that this election promise will slip into oblivion shortly after next October.