Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, recently toured federal transportation facilities in Sept-Îles, Quebec, and Wabush, Newfoundland and Labrador. She started her trip in Sept-Îles where she visited the airport and the port and completed her tour with the airport at Wabush. She remarked that “Thanks to its infrastructure and recent Transport Canada investments, I am confident that the airport in Sept-Îles is well-equipped to adapt to, and support, increased air traffic in the region.”

Transport Canada has invested close to $7 million over the past few years to ensure that airport infrastructure remains secure and in good condition. The airport serves business travel and promotes tourism by offering daily flights to and from Quebec City and Montreal, as well as Wabush, Fermont, Schefferville and the Lower North Shore.

The Minister met with officials of Port of Sept-Îles, including CEO Pierre Gagnon who spoke of the essential role the port plays to support the growth of the region’s mining industry. The port facilities are an important link for iron ore exports and serve Quebec and Labrador’s mining industry. Last year, nearly 28 million tonnes were handled at the port and 3,500 cruise ship passengers on board five international ships were welcomed. The federal government announced in 2012 an investment of up to $55 million to assist in the financing of a new multi-user deep-water wharf at the Port, which is currently under construction. “I understand how important this multi-user wharf is to Canada and to the region of Sept-Îles and I am very satisfied to see that work on this new structure is progressing,” added Minister Raitt.

Minister Raitt also met with staff and management of the airport facilities in Wabush. “Since becoming Minister of Transport, I have heard about the increased traffic at Wabush Airport and I wanted to see the facility and its operations for myself,” said Minister Raitt. “It’s a very dynamic place – you can feel the energy of increased activity and I’m very pleased to see how effectively the airport is servicing the needs of travellers and dealing with growth.” Wabush Airport is a Transport Canada owned and operated facility and the main transportation hub providing air service to and from Labrador. Expansion in the mining industry has driven significant increases in aircraft movements at the airport, with the number of arrivals and departures tripling between 2009 and 2012 to 25,910.