News Release

REF NO.: 190


DATE: May 16, 2007

Will Newfoundland and Labrador lose out if Halifax becomes the gateway to North America for goods coming in from China and the Far East? Or does this provide an opportunity for the province to increase its share of trade with these countries? Should Newfoundland and Labrador support Halifax’s efforts to become the “Atlantic Gateway?” These are some of the questions which the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development will attempt to answer during a one-day forum on Wednesday, May 30, 2007, at the Holiday Inn in St. John’s. Speakers from across Newfoundland and Labrador and the Maritimes, representing government, business and the transportation industry, will outline the issues at play. The minister of Transportation and Works, John Hickey, will deliver the keynote address during the luncheon.
The objective of this forum is to examine the impact of the proposed Atlantic Gateway on the future planning of transportation systems in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, particularly the marine connections between the province and the mainland of North America. The forum will examine the concept of the Atlantic Gateway as a distribution port linking markets and suppliers in the Far East and Europe with those in eastern North America.
Such a gateway has the potential to create new economic activity in the form of shipping and transhipment, to reduce transportation costs and to encourage manufacturing.
The discussion will be examined in the light of economic and demographic changes which are reducing overall population and concentrating it on the Avalon Peninsula. The forum is intended to launch a serious examination of major transportation issues facing the province and to identify an agenda for future action to develop constructive solutions.
The Harris Centre is part of Memorial University, and its mandate includes the creation of forums for the discussion of important issues of public policy. Financial support for this forum was provided by the Atlantic Provinces Transportation Group at the University of New Brunswick; the Department of Transportation and Works of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador; Transport Canada; Marine Atlantic; and Oceanex.
To register, visit the Harris Centre website at www.mun.ca/harriscentre or call the Harris Centre at (709) 737-6186.
The Harris Centre
            The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development (The Harris Centre) was approved by the Memorial University Board of Regents on Sept. 8, 2004 and announced Oct. 1, 2004. It is named in honour of Memorial University scholar and former president, Dr. Leslie Harris. Dr. Harris exemplifies the contribution of Memorial University to regional policy and development in Newfoundland and Labrador.
            The Harris Centre coordinates and facilitates the university’s educational, research and outreach activities in the areas of regional policy and development. It works with all faculties and departments within the university and serves as a reliable point of access for all stakeholders seeking to work with the university in activities related to regional policy and development.

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