Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Good Thinking....let's work to get Ottawa on board..

It's good to see that our Premier is looking ahead as I'm afraid there is some real seriousness to the economic slowdown that is heading our way. I took some time last week when I was in Toronto and Montreal to drop in and talk to a few Bankers and some other players in the retail development industry and everyone has their radar up and very nervious. It's going to be very tough to get new private projects off the ground and jump starting some large Government mega projects here would certainly help keep our economy going in hard times. The Cornwall bypass is long overdue and the power cable project across the Strait would certainly help us export some of the future electricity that will be coming from the construction of all the new wind mills that are being proposed. The great thing about this plan to kick start these projects is that both the Provincial Liberals and Tories have both been in favour of these projects in the past and they should now really try to work together with their Federal counterparts to get these projects off the ground ASAP....
Fast-tracking major projects will help in downturn: Ghiz
Two mega-construction projects for P.E.I. could be fast-tracked if Prime Minister Stephen Harper agrees to speed up infrastructure spending in Canada, says Premier Robert Ghiz. Canada’s premiers called on Harper to accelerate billions of dollars in funding for roads, transit and sewers following a meeting of Canada’s premiers and the prime minister held Monday in Ottawa. The money would help stimulate the economy, which has been in freefall because of a worldwide financial meltdown. “The Cornwall bypass would be a $40-$50-million project, at least,’’ Ghiz said during an interview with The Guardian from Ottawa. “It would create a lot of jobs, a lot of economic spin-offs, a lot of payroll. Creating those jobs helps us through a difficult time.’’ This is the first meeting of Canada’s premiers and the prime minister since the financial crisis intensified. The meeting dealt almost exclusively with the problems plaguing the economy, and provided the prime minister with a sense of what is happening across Canada prior to next weekend’s meeting of the G20, the world’s 20 largest economies, in Brazil. Ghiz also warned that Prince Edward Island is not immune to the world financial crisis. “We will see the residual effects of a slowdown eventually in Prince Edward Island,’’ warned Ghiz.But the premier believes Canada’s smallest province is well positioned to weather the storm, with minimal damage. “We don’t build cars. We sell potatoes or seafood products. During a slowing economic time, people may not buy cars, but they will continue to buy food products.’’Most of the first ministers appear to agree that with the economy slumping, a first step for governments is to speed up spending on infrastructure projects already approved in principal. Quebec Premier Jean Charest said there is no excuse for further delays in about $4 billion in spending that has already been approved. In Prince Edward Island, funding for the Cornwall bypass could possibly come through funding being considered for the Atlantic Gateway. The electrical cable would be funded through a section of the infrastructure program dedicated to P3s or public- private partnerships. There would also be additional funding through the Building Canada fund that would allow both the province and its municipalities to build new roads, as well as water and sewer systems. Ghiz said those projects would create millions of dollars in economic spinoffs and keep the Island economy from going through the economic storm now underway. He said it will also help the province in the long term, by providing a better route for Island goods and an avenue for the province to sell its wind energy to the mainland. The premiers will meet again with Harper early in the new year. While the premier is acknowledging the economy will take a downturn, he’s not saying how bad it is going to get. He said not even the economists are sure about what is going to happen on the world and national stage when it comes to the economy. “It is impossible to say,’’ Ghiz added.

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