Steve Kent said the Grand Lake Centre of Economic Development is a good example of what’s possible when communities work together.
Kent, the minister of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs, spoke at the association’s annual general meeting at the Pasadena Ski and Nature Park on Friday.
For Kent it was the end of a full day on the west coast that included a funding announcement in Deer Lake, a Coastal Matters talk and attending the National Day of Honour in Corner Brook. Prior to the event Kent said the centre is doing great work on the west coast to help grow the economy in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
“And communities play an important role in that and the work that we do through Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs impacts directly what happens on the ground in communities. So I want to encourage communities to continue to work together.”
Kent said his department has a role to play in that and can do so by helping them be more sustainable, providing municipal operating grants, funds for infrastructure programs and support through training and guidance.
“We can also encourage and promote regionalization efforts. We can encourage communities to work together when it makes sense to do so. And, in this particular case, I think it’s important for communities in any region of the province to work together on economic development initiatives.”
Kent said it’s an exciting time in the province. “But we’ve got to keep building on that momentum and we’ve got to work together in order to do that. We need government, and industry, and community and academia to pull together.
He said what really makes the Grand Lake Centre stand out is the people involved.
“For initiatives like this one to work there has to be willing partners who are truly committed to working together and advancing a common cause. And I think that’s what we see happening here,” he said.
“And as members of that economic development association, I want to encourage them to ensure stronger communities by continuing to work together. Because it is having an impact. I think it’s good for the region and I think it’s good for the province.”