NEWS RELEASE · 11th December 2009
Premier Gordon Campbell and Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia Pacific Gateway today announced $25 million in joint federal/provincial funding to improve ferry access to Klemtu through the construction of a new ferry terminal.
"Construction of this new terminal has the potential to generate new opportunities in tourism and trade for Coastal First Nations," said Premier Campbell. "In addition to the long-term economic growth it will spur, this project will create an estimated 150 jobs in the short-term during construction."
"The Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan is working for B.C., by stimulating the economy and creating jobs," said Minister Day. "We continue to work in partnership with the provincial government to get shovels in the ground quickly, and today we are proud to announce one more infrastructure stimulus project: a new Klemtu ferry terminal."
The new Klemtu ferry terminal will be constructed at Wedge Rock, two km north of the existing terminal. The project will include a berth, ramp, vehicle compound and road improvements to the site.
The Wedge Rock site has a suitable approach, water depth and berth orientation for BC Ferries' new vessel, the Northern Expedition, to dock. Presently, the Northern Expedition cannot dock at Klemtu due to the existing berth's limitations.
"The new terminal will be a major benefit to our community," said Kitasoo Chief Percy Starr. "Our community members will more easily and safely travel for health care and to access education and job opportunities. For the first time we will be able to access amenities that other British Columbians take for granted."
Starr added that a new terminal will allow the Kitasoo to more efficiently bring goods and services to the community, market products and create economic opportunities.
The Province of B.C. and Government of Canada are each contributing $12.5 million for the new Klemtu ferry terminal. Construction will be complete by March 31, 2011.
This project is supported by the Government of Canada's new $4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, which is a key component of Canada's Economic Action Plan. The fund invests in construction-ready infrastructure rehabilitation projects that will reach completion by March 2011.
The project is funded under the Province's three-year, $14-billion capital infrastructure program that will create up to 88,000 jobs and help build vital public infrastructure in every region of B.C. Since October 2008, over $4.4 billion in infrastructure projects have been announced across British Columbia, which are estimated to create more than 28,000 jobs over the life of the projects.
Klemtu is located on Swindle Island in Finlayson Channel, approximately 220 km north of Port Hardy. It is a scheduled stop on BC Ferries' Discovery Coast Passage summer route and on its Inside Passage route in fall, winter and spring.
(ED note: Klemtu is 150 kilometers directly south of Kitimat, on Swindle Island, which is at the south east tip of Princess Royal Island, all within the Regional District Kitimat Stikine.)