Tag: federal government

    Falls tourists talk about being forced to change travel plans

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    From the Niagara Gazette:

    Many visitors to the Niagara Falls State Park Wednesday definitely had mixed emotions about their travel plans.

    They were thrilled to view the falls — even with a large section of the Prospect Point viewing area fenced off for remedial work— but disappointed that they would have to skip visits to other destinations due to the federal government shutdown. The name of the game, or so it seemed, was to change on the fly.

    WEGO officially a go

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    From Niagara This Week:

    “This is a very important moment for Niagara Region,” Nicholson said. “It required a lot of work and dedication over the years. It is an important component in what we’re doing to find better ways of moving people around and extending their stay.

    “This will do just that.”

    Both the federal and provincial governments contributed $25 million to the project and Nicholson called it money well spent.

    “It increases the availability for all the attractions to all people,” he said.

    And away… WEGO!

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    From Niagara This Week:

    The replacement for the aging Peoplemover transit system in Niagara Falls now has a name — WEGO.

    The brand is meant to be a fun pairing of the words “we,” meaning friendship and social activity with “go” to emphasize adventure and exploration. The name was unveiled Thursday in a joint statement by the federal and provincial governments, the Niagara Parks Commission and the City of Niagara Falls. The name was chosen, the statement read, because it easily distinguishes the new Niagara Falls Visitor Transportation System from the conventional municipal system.

    “WEGO is another step forward for improving bus service in Niagara Falls,” said Niagara Falls MP and Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson, speaking on behalf of the federal government. “The new system will be a great benefit to the area; it will support the local economy, provide residents and visitors with greater transit options, reduce traffic congestion and support better air quality.”

    Feds want passport views

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The federal government won’t move ahead with its plan to incorporate biometric technology into passports until Canadians have had a chance to weigh in on it.

    Pamela Stephens, a spokeswoman for Justice Minister and Attorney General Rob Nicholson, said Friday the minister’s office has been assured by Passport Canada that the agency intends to conduct public consultations, which will likely commence in early April.

    The federal government has talked about introducing biometric passports as far back as 2008. The plan was mentioned again in last week’s speech from the throne. However, the government’s proposed 2010 budget, unveiled last week, didn’t provided specific details about funding for the initiative.

    Some local tourism officials have expressed support in principle for biometrics, but want to know if the changes will mean Canadians will have to pay more to acquire the important border-crossing documents.

    “Before price is established, there will be a public consultation process,” said Stephens. “In the second part of that process, they will introduce a fee structure, so they’re going to consult Canadians on a price before anything is … announced.”

    “That will be an important part for people, particularly in the Niagara area.”

    $50 M for new People Mover

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    From Niagara This Week:

    A long-awaited city-owned People Mover system in Niagara Falls is finally poised to become reality, with the province and federal government announcing Monday they’re going to pump $50 million into the project.

    The concept for a new People Mover system has been kicked around for years. At one time it was even envisioned as a high-tech monorail system in the tourism district.

    The new city-owned People Mover system of buses is separate from the Niagara Parks Commission’s People Mover system, which transports people between Parks properties and has been around for decades.

    “The Government of Canada is proud to be a long-time supporter of this project,” said Niagara Falls MP and federal justice minister Rob Nicholson. “The Niagara People Mover will contribute to easier movement of people in this great city.”

    $50 million for new people-mover system

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    A major transportation project that has been stalled for years got a fresh injection of fuel Monday.

    At a press conference at the Via rail station on Bridge Street, Ontario Deputy Premier George Smitherman announced the province will contribute $25 million toward the development of a new people mover bus system linking the city’s major tourist districts with Niagara Parks Commission properties.

    The money put up by Queen’s Park matches the $25 million pledged by the federal government in 2003.

    Smitherman, who is the provincial energy and infrastructure minister, said the time was right for Queen’s Park to “step up to the plate” as an equal partner with Ottawa on the project.

    “The reality is that until today, the province of Ontario has not been an equal partner with the government of Canada in what is a signature investment here in Niagara Falls,” Smitherman.

    $850 K for historic Hydro landmark

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    From Niagara This Week:

    A total of $850,000 will soon be pumped into the historic Toronto Power generating station.

    Niagara Falls MP and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson unveiled a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque Friday, in addition to announcing the federal government will chip in a $425,000 infrastructure investment as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to stimulate the economy. The province, through the Niagara Parks Commission, will match the amount.

    City gets extension on people mover application

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    From Niagara This Week:

    The federal government has issued the city an extension to apply for a $25-million grant for its version of a people mover system.

    The deadline to submit an application was June but Mayor Ted Salci recently reported he secured a one-year extension to allow for more time to prepare a business plan, which is currently being undertaken, said Salci.

    “We’re taking a P3 (public-private partnership) approach to finance the project,” he said.

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