ÉVANGÉLINE (GNB) – The provincial and federal governments are contributing nearly $5.5 million to develop 37.6 kilometres of bike trails linking the communities of Tracadie, Shippagan and Caraquet.

“The Government of New Brunswick understands the priorities of New Brunswickers,” said Agriculture, Mines and Rural Affairs Minister Wilfred Roussel. “We know the importance of creating jobs, growing the economy and securing and enhancing health care and education. Our investment in the Véloroute de la Péninsule acadienne will link three communities together and showcase one of our country's greatest coastlines.”

Roussel spoke on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser, who is also the minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation.

This project is meant to expand recreational opportunities for residents while positioning the Acadian Peninsula as a tourism destination for cycling enthusiasts.

“This investment reflects our government’s commitment to working with communities to support projects that contribute to the quality of life of the families who live there,” said Acadie-Bathurst MP Serge Cormier. “It will be a pleasure to see our municipalities linked by these trails, and there is no doubt our region will benefit in both direct and indirect ways, whether from the jobs created in the process of construction, the economic spinoffs created by attracting tourists from around the world, or the everyday value of these trails for local cyclists.”

Cormier attended for federal Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, who is also the minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

The federal government is providing a non-repayable contribution of $2,743,179 through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund. The provincial government is also providing $2,743,179 through the Regional Development Corporation.

“We are very appreciative of this investment, which will allow us to move forward with a major project that will help to attract tourists and develop our economy in the Acadian Peninsula, while also benefitting the health and well-being of local residents and protecting the environment,” said Ernest Ferguson, president of the Véloroute de la Péninsule acadienne.