SAINT-QUENTIN (GNB) – A $1.4 million centralized grooming hub will be established at Mount Carleton Provincial Park before the next snowmobiling season.

“This strategic infrastructure will grow our tourism sector and advance the sport of snowmobiling in northern New Brunswick,” Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Bill Fraser said. “It will strengthen and enhance the Northern Odyssey snowmobile experience, reinvigorate the snowmobile trail system, and extend the snowmobiling season in this region by several weeks. The centralized grooming hub will also provide a fueling station for snowmobilers and open up 343 kilometres of new trail areas which were previously unreachable.”

The provincial government will invest $710,000 in the project. The federal government is contributing $723,708 through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Innovative Communities Fund. The Town of Saint-Quentin is contributing $265,000 and the New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs is investing $75,000.

“The federal government is committed to strengthening community infrastructure to help develop prosperous communities and improve the quality of life for Canadian families,” said Bernard Valcourt, federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. “That is why we are pleased to support the Town of Saint-Quentin and the New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs through this project that will increase the number of visitors during the winter months, generating economic growth for multiple communities in Northern New Brunswick.”

Valcourt spoke on behalf of Rob Moore, minister of state for ACOA.

Construction will take place this summer and will be completed before December.

The Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture has a three-year agreement with the municipality for the management and operation of the centralized grooming hub in co-operation with a local management committee.

The federation will continue to oversee the management of the trail system across the province.

Fraser said snowmobiling contributes $25 million annually to the provincial economy.

“It is a core winter sport and plays a substantial role in our winter tourism marketing campaign,” he said. “In Northern New Brunswick, winter is the primary tourism season and snowmobiling is a key drawing card for visitors and tourism operators. We want to capitalize on winter’s white gold to generate revenue and growth and move our province forward.”