News Release - September 14, 2007
PROVINCE INVESTS MORE THAN $34 MILLION TO IMPROVE TRANSPORTATION LINKS TO FIRST NATION COMMUNITIES
Premier Lorne Calvert today announced upgrades to an access road to a school and health care facility on the Onion Lake Cree Nation. The upgrade is the latest in a series of more than $34 million in recent investments by the Province of Saskatchewan to improve transportation links to First Nation communities.
Through a partnership with the Onion Lake Cree Nation and the Rural Municipality of Frenchman Butte, the Government of Saskatchewan is investing an estimated $1.5 million to upgrade and pave 3.6 kilometres of a gravel road that links Onion Lake to Highway 17. The partnership is the sixth project within the First Nations Connections pillar of Transportation for Economic Advantage.
"Better access to these communities means better access to the province's transportation network and greater opportunities for residents to more fully participate in Saskatchewan's robust economy," Calvert said. "As well, these upgraded transportation links mean improved access to health care and education facilities. We are going beyond jurisdictional boundaries to help improve the lives of Saskatchewan people."
The Onion Lake Cree Nation will manage this latest project, while a contractor will do the work. The partners will also seek training and employment opportunities for First Nations people during construction. Design work will take place this year with construction expected to start in 2008.
"We're very pleased to see the Province invest in this project," Onion Lake Cree Nation Chief Henry Lewis said. "By working together, our respective governments will improve access to our community, make an important road safer and contribute to an improved quality of life for those living there."
The First Nations Connections pillar is part of Transportation for Economic Advantage, the province's long-term transportation strategy. This strategy is a 10-year, $5-billion commitment to fundamentally realign the province's transportation network to meet the current and future demands of Saskatchewan's thriving economy.
For more information on highway construction and Transportation for Economic Advantage, please visit www.highways.gov.sk.ca.
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