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Governors and Premiers: Rail and Road Investments the Key to New Jobs in the Northeast

Glen Weisbrod of EDR Group discussed findings on the connection of regional economic development and transportation needs at the Conference New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers in Bar Harbor, Maine on September 16, 2008.

"The broad region's economic future is largely intertwined with the adequacy of our transportation links between our states and provinces," said David Cole, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation during a presentation to premiers from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec as well as governors of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

The New Brunswick Business Journal writes that Glen Weisbrod, president of the Economic Development Research Group said each of the provinces and states at the conference share a common theme - each has a economic powerhouse in their jurisdiction, but they also have large areas that are economically distressed. "Overall as a region the area doesn't enjoy the same level of robust economic growth as other trading regions in North America," he said.

Weisbrod noted that the many of the provinces and states have slower income growth, slower job growth, aging populations and high unemployment rates outside of major cities. But the Northeast region has great potential, he added, noted it is positioned between two major economic regions in Canada and the U.S. - the Boston-Washington corridor to the south and the Montreal-Chicago corridor to the west. Both areas account for roughly 40 per cent of the gross domestic product of both the United States and Canada. Weisbrod also pointed out that the Northeast region is also ideally poised for trade with Europe and with Asia via the Suez canal trade link.

The states and provinces are collaborating on a study entitled: Northeast CanAm Connections: Integrating the Economy and Transportation. The final report and its recommendations are being released in October 2008.

Additional links:

Slideshow Presentation to Governors and Premiers (9/16/2008)

A Tale of 100,000 Jobs, New Brunswick Business Journal (9/17/2008)

Resolutions of the NEGECP, (9/16/2008)

Conference Summary Maine (9/16/2008)

Rail, Road Improvements Urged, Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia (9/16/2008)

Remarks of David Cole, Commisioner of Maine DOT (9/16/2008)

Read more about the CanAm Connections Study

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Tel. 617 338 6775

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