BOUCTOUCHE (GNB) – The provincial and federal governments are investing a combined $1.5 million to renovate the one-kilometre walkway at Le Pays de la Sagouine.

“Le Pays de la Sagouine is one of the crown jewels of New Brunswick’s tourism industry,” said Health Minister Benoît Bourque. “As a government, we are investing $100 million over the next eight years in order to increase tourism revenues from a $1.3-billion a year industry to a $2-billion by 2025. Our government ‘s investment will ensure the longevity of this important tourist asset.”

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

The refurbishment is meant to extend the life of the walkway by making it better able to withstand ice and weather conditions. The walkway has become a key symbol of the tourism attraction over the past two decades.

“The Government of Canada is committed to investing in facilities like Le Pays de la Sagouine that contribute to the vibrancy of communities and support culture and heritage,” said federal Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, who is also the minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). “Through ACOA, our government is making strategic investments that build on competitive regional advantages and help enhance the local economy.”

The provincial government is providing $375,000 for the project. The federal government is investing $775,000 under ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund while Heritage Canada is contributing $350,000.

“Le Pays de la Sagouine is a cultural and tourism icon here in Bouctouche, and I am very pleased that the Government of Canada is supporting upgrades to this important facility,” said federal Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard Minister Dominic LeBlanc. “Tourism showcases the best of what Atlantic Canada offers, strengthens the Atlantic Canadian brand, here and abroad, and positions the region as a top-of-mind destination for visitors.”

LeBlanc spoke on behalf of Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our supporters’ commitment to Acadian culture,” said Luc LeBlanc, the organization’s artistic director and general director. “What was at stake was not simply the survival of a bridge to Île-aux-Puces, but a path that connects Acadian citizens to an important part of their culture. This little winding wooden bridge is what enabled me to stay here in Acadia to ply my trade, and I am not alone. Many Acadian actors, musicians and artisans were able to emerge and survive. I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude on behalf of the Pays de la Sagouine team.”