Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 10, 2010

Archived - Canada and Maritime Provinces Support New Radio Communications for Emergency Services

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Public-private partnership investment will improve emergency response services for Maritime people

The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, the Honourable Bill Estabrooks, Nova Scotia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, the Honourable Ed Doherty, New Brunswick Minister of Supply and Services, and the Honourable Doug Currie, Prince Edward Island Attorney General, announced today that the Government of Canada will contribute up to $50 million through PPP Canada to support the implementation of the Maritime Radio Communications Initiative. The Governments of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia will each contribute to construction and operational costs.

“Governments around the world have been increasingly turning towards public-private partnerships (P3s) to take on the responsibility of designing, building, financing and operating public infrastructure,” said Minister Flaherty. “P3s represent an innovative approach to infrastructure investment. Today’s announcement will improve the infrastructure for emergency radio systems across the three provinces, making it easier for first responders to do their jobs and enhancing the safety and security of Maritimers.”

“Communications interoperability is a basic necessity to enable efficient and effective responses to situations which threaten our public and property,” said Minister Currie, Prince Edward Island Minister Responsible for Public Safety. “We are pleased to work on this cooperative initiative, along with our Maritime counterparts and the Government of Canada, to facilitate implementation of a communications tool that will be a valuable asset to professionals in our provinces who respond to daily emergencies and disaster situations.”

“We are pleased to be moving forward with New Brunswick’s next generation radio communications project,” said New Brunswick Supply and Services Minister Dr. Ed Doherty. “Having advanced technology is critical to timely response, especially in times of crisis. The collaborative partnership between the Maritime provinces and Government of Canada is essential as we work to create the first of its kind multi-province radio communications system.”

“The Trunk Mobile Radio system is a vital link among first responders like police, fire and emergency health services,” said Nova Scotia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Bill Estabrooks. “We are taking action to make sure this important system stays strong and reliable in the future, while ensuring seamless communications with our Maritime partners.”

The three provinces currently operate three separate, incompatible emergency radio systems that are at or approaching the end of their useful operating lives. The new system will be used across all three provinces by the hundreds of local fire, police, emergency medical, and search and rescue organizations, as well as federal and provincial departments and agencies.

This project is the first of its kind in Canada. By pooling resources, and with additional support from the Government of Canada, the three provinces will partner with the private sector to deliver a system which would otherwise have been unaffordable. The result of this collaboration will be a first-rate emergency mobile radio system, which will help those who are responsible for public safety to do their jobs and improve emergency services for residents across the Maritime region.

For further information, media may contact:

Annette Robertson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

Connie McNeill
Senior Planning and Policy Officer
PEI Office of Public Safety

Sheri Strickland
New Brunswick Department of Supply and Services

Cathy MacIsaac
Director, Communications
Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal

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