The province’s minister for Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, who is also the Liberal legislature member for Corner Brook, made the remarks during an address to the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade Friday.
Byrne was in his hometown to promote the provincial budget brought down Thursday. Among the highlights for the Corner Brook area were nearly $18 million to advance the construction of a new regional acute care hospital and long-term care facilities.
Byrne said the province is considering opening a small office to help build the workforce needed to participate in these and any other economy-growing projects that may come down the pipe in the next several years. He said the office will analyze the requirements of the labour force market and act upon those needs.
“I look forward to developing a proposal which I hope to fund in the near future to get ready for what will be a major economic stimulus, a construction boom,” said Byrne.
The minister has already entered into discussions with the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade about this office and said the board may be a good platform from which to launch it.
He said the province and the federal government are entering into several new infrastructure funding agreements and hopes municipalities in western Newfoundland act soon in order to take advantage of any money being made available.
“It’s important for us to plan now because a failure to plan is a plan for failure,” said Byrne.
He said it’s crucial for the province and its municipalities to work together where opportunities for partnerships are identified.
“This is the time to be strong and bullish about the economy of western Newfoundland and especially the economy of Corner Brook,” he said.