|January 30, 2009|
Highway 37 Power Line Coalition Applauds Premier for Expressing his Intent to Seek Federal Infrastructure Funds to Support Northwest Transmission Line
|Vancouver, BC -- January 30, 2009 -- The Highway 37 Power Line Coalition today congratulated and thanked the Premier of British Columbia, the Honourable Gordon Campbell, for expressing his interest in seeking federal infrastructure funds toward the review of electrification of Highway 37. Speaking at the 26th annual AME BC Mineral Exploration Roundup conference, the Premier expanded on his earlier commitments to the development of electrical transmission in the province's northwest.|
The Premier stated that potential federal government infrastructure funds could be directed to permitting and potential construction of a power line in northwest British Columbia along Highway 37, a region with excellent mineral development and power generation potential.
"The Premier has taken a visionary approach to Northwest BC electrification," said Initiatives Prince George President & CEO Tim McEwan, "By directing funds provided by the federal budget towards the electrification of Highway 37, the BC and federal governments would open up the development potential in the Northwest. We applaud Premier Campbell's willingness to leverage federal infrastructure funds to develop the power line."
In September 2008 Premier Gordon Campbell announced $10 million for engineering, environmental assessment and Aboriginal consultation for a power line from Terrace to Bob Quinn, a corridor surrounded by extraordinary mining and power generation potential. The Highway 37 coalition has since been working with First Nations and government and its agencies to extend the project review to Dease Lake.
"The Tahltan Nation supports responsible developments based on recognition of Tahltan Aboriginal rights and title and that provide for shared decision-making as well as revenue and benefit sharing," says Annita McPhee, Chair of the Tahltan Central Council. "We look forward to studying and assessing this project."
"We're pleased that the Premier is committed to making this important infrastructure project a priority, thereby realizing the vast economic potential it would stimulate in exploration and development," said Gavin C. Dirom, President & CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC).
"MABC's Report on the Electrification of Highway 37 shows there is potential for more than $15 billion in investment, almost 11,000 jobs and $300 million in annual government revenues. Clearly, it would be money well spent by both levels of government," added Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of the Mining Association of BC (MABC).
About the Highway 37 Power Line Coalition: The coalition represents communities, the Northern Development Initiative Trust, non-profit organizations, mineral exploration and mining companies, independent power producers, joint venture First Nations companies and individuals committed to the construction of a high voltage transmission line from Terrace to Dease Lake, British Columbia, and perhaps beyond. The coalition is committed to sustainable economic development in Northwestern British Columbia and believes electrical infrastructure is the key to the future of British Columbia's Northwest.
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