News Release Archive

Premier's Office--Leaders Share Successes/Atlantic Vision
More than 200 leaders from business, education and government
shared examples of the many successes in Atlantic Canada's
dynamic economy at the two-day Atlantic Vision conference in

Conference participants identified the need for strategic
investments by both the public and private sectors to ensure that
momentum built over the last few years continues well into the
next century.

The four Atlantic premiers, who hosted the conference, indicated
work has only begun to strengthen the social and economic fabric
of the region.

The region's economy and people are in transition, premiers said.
They added that significant and strategic investments in people,
through educational and infrastructure support, are essential.

Premiers also challenged the federal government to join them in
taking a new approach to design and deliver flexible new programs
and to encourage innovative fiscal mechanisms that build on past
achievements and help foster increased self reliance among
Atlantic Canadians.

Conference participants heard about Atlantic Canada's proven
record of excellence in the areas of information technology and
knowledge-based industries. Knowledge based methods are also
being used in the region's traditional and resource industries to
add value to products as part of forging a stronger and more
vibrant economy, premiers said.

Premiers stressed that information technology, biotechnology and
other knowledge based industries in Atlantic Canada must be
recognized and supported by the federal government, in the same
way as other centres of excellence have emerged over the years in
other areas of the country, such as the auto industry in Ontario
and the aerospace industry in Quebec.

The conference was called to discuss the future of Atlantic
Canada against a background of provincial governments achieving
balanced budgets, reduced federal transfers and an emerging
economic self-confidence. Sessions at the conference focused on
four key areas: information technology, people and skills for the
21st century, tourism and value adding in the resource economy.

Discussions at the conference will be a catalyst for promoting
prosperity, self-reliance and a sense of confidence and optimism,
premiers said. However, they noted there is still much work to be
done and that while the private sector must play a lead role,
governments also have an important part to play. Premiers agreed
that an approach which enables each province to maintain the
flexibility to design programs that meet their needs and build on
their strengths will create a more vibrant regional economy.


Contact: Peter MacLellan
         Premier's Office

ngr                 October 10, 1997                  3:55 pm