Urban Municipalities to Gain New Insights for Economic Planning

News Release

Gathering and analyzing key data will help Newfoundland and Labrador’s municipalities strengthen regional economies

January 25, 2018 – St. John’s, NL – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Strong data helps inform good planning and decision making. Through an investment from the Government of Canada, Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL) will have access to information to help their urban partners engage in meaningful economic development planning activities, benefiting both businesses and citizens across the province.

Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), today announced an investment of $307,312 through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP) for MNL to partner with Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Harris Centre to analyze key data in several areas of the province.  This will help inform and support regional economic development initiatives lead by various urban municipalities.

These urban municipalities represent the majority of the citizens and businesses in the province and play a leadership role in economic development in their respective regions.  This initiative will help provide in-depth economic data and, through analysis, create profiles revealing information on productivity, linkages of people and economic activity, employment, spending and gaps. The desired outcome is for new approaches and economic development opportunities based on interpreting key economic evidence.

This type of investment builds on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy, which supports strategic investments in initiatives that build on the region’s competitive advantages.


“The Government of Canada recognizes the importance and potential of municipalities as a partner in creating strong and diversified economies, good-paying jobs and a high quality of life. We are pleased to support this innovative project by Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador as they continue to support and serve the economic development efforts of towns and cities across the province.”

  •  The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“For our municipalities to be the engines of economic growth we know they can be, their communities need access to the best data and analysis to assist their decision making.  The Harris Centre is renowned for its demographic and labour market projection tools; and for other statistical analysis that can form the basis of robust municipal planning decisions. Today’s announcement supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to invest in projects that drive innovation and evidence based decision making, by funding this innovative partnership between the Harris Centre and Municipalities NL.”

  • Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East

"More and more municipalities play leadership roles in local and regional economic development.  To make informed decisions, MNL collaborates with strategic partners such as Memorial University's Harris Centre to equip ourselves with the best demographic and economic data possible to help communities plan wisely and achieve more sustainable, functional, and economic growth. Capacity building initiatives such as this provide value to those who collaborate on meaningful economic development activities."

  • Tony Keats, President of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL)


Paul McGrath
Director, Public Affairs

Craig Pollett
Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador

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