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CORNER BROOK — This year could be one of great prosperity for western Newfoundlanders, says Matthew Connolly.
The president of the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade is anticipating boosts to the business community through some of the major industries hitting the province.
With the progression of the Muskrat Falls project, Connolly is expecting contracts for land clearing to be announced. He said local vendors should benefit as suppliers for the upcoming work.
“That means a lot of small businesses will become busy and active here,” he said. “I think it is going to be a very profitable and prosperous year for the west coast of Newfoundland.”
With the pipeline coming down through the Northern Peninsula and into the west coast, along with the Emera Newfoundland and Labrador Maritime Link Transmission Project, Connolly expects job opportunities.
“All that work means a lot of local people being hired and a lot of local vendors supplying that work to be done,” he said.
The board of trade has been trying to advance the oil and gas industry in western Newfoundland for years, and Connolly says it is close to the time the benefits start to show. He is convinced conventional drilling will go ahead.
“It’s a long process,” he said. “It takes quite a bit of time with your environmental studies, your impact studies and everything that has to be put in place.
“Once that is done, and they start doing the drilling in the areas that have pre-tested, I am really looking forward to some positive results in the next year.”
Corner Brook has had a reputation as a challenging place to do business, and the president of the board of trade believes that will change under the current council.
“There’s a lot of positive attitudes coming into the new year that will help move the city along in a brighter light,” Connolly said. “I really respect the leadership we have down there now. I am really looking forward to working with them.”