MISCOU ISLAND (GNB) – The provincial government is investing $250,000 in upgrades to the iconic lighthouse on Miscou Island as part of an increased focus on the tourism sector.

“As identified in our Economic Growth Plan, tourism is a major component of the government’s economic vision,” said Shippagan-Lamèque-Miscou MLA Wilfred Roussel. “As we celebrate Canada 150, attractions like the Miscou Island lighthouse not only represent an important part of the province’s history, but highlight what a culturally rich and beautiful province we have.”

Roussel attended for Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames.

The lighthouse is a national historic site and one of the oldest lighthouses in the Gulf of St. Lawrence region. As one of the few surviving wooden, octagonal tapered lighthouses, it is a popular heritage attraction, offering visitors spectacular views of Chaleur Bay and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

As part of the government’s commitment to growing the tourism sector, investments in capital maintenance for provincial parks and attractions are doubling to $2 million for the 2017-18 fiscal year compared to the $1 million made available in 2016-17. The investment in the lighthouse involves replacing the shingled siding to ensure the structure remains a landmark tourist attraction.

The lighthouse was built in 1856 at the northeastern tip of the province, overlooking Chaleur Bay. The name Miscou comes from the Mi’kmaq word, meaning low or marshy lands. 

The tourism industry is an important job creator, employing more than 42,000 people in New Brunswick, and it contributes more than $520 million annually to the provincial GDP. For every public dollar invested in promoting New Brunswick as a tourism destination, there is a return of $3.19 to the province. The budget for the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture increased by 17.6 per cent this year. In addition, a capital investment of $75 million will be made over the next three years for upgrades to assets of cultural and historic significance.