by Owen Fitzgerald Ex. Director, Unama’ki Economic Benefits Office

(L-R) Owen Fitzgerald, executive director of the Unama’ki Economic Benefits Office, Minister Steven Fletcher, Dan Christmas, co-chair of the UEBO Steering Committee and Alex Paul, Director, UEBO and in charge of the Unama’ki ASEP training program.

Membertou – August 5, 2011 – The Unama’ki Economic Benefits Office (UEBO) will receive operational funding to continue its economic development work on behalf of the five First Nations communities on Cape Breton Island. Originally established in 2007 to oversee business opportunities for First Nations companies arising from the cleanup of the Sydney Tar Ponds, the UEBO has broadened its horizons to find new opportunities for Aboriginal businesses in various sectors while providing young Aboriginals with training for skilled, well-paying jobs.

“The Government of Canada recognizes that economic development is key to improving the standard of living and quality of life for Aboriginal people,” said the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport) during a press conference in Membertou Aug. 5.

ECBC is providing financial assistance of $438,000, and the Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens Project, through Public Works and Government Services Canada and the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, is providing $755,000. This funding from the project is in addition to the approximately $337,000 provided to the UEBO in June 2007.

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