Fortune is best known as a gateway to St. Pierre and Miquelon, and St. Pierre is quite literally known as “A little piece of France off the Island of Newfoundland”: the islands still belong to France.
The draw of St. Pierre and Miquelon is still strong among both Newfoundlanders & Labradorians – for a quick getaway – and it remains an attraction for tourists as well. If you’re an Atlantic Canadian, why go all the way to France for a proper croissant?
As Carol Ann Haley, MHA for Burin-Grand Bank, says “Fortune’s proximity to the French territory of St. Pierre and Miquelon offers visitors a unique opportunity to travel across international borders for a rewarding cultural experience.”
As gateway to this French get away, the town Fortune could really step up its own appeal as a tourism destination, and capitalize on all of its traffic congestion at the port to St. Pierre. Why be a mere Port of Entry when you could be part of the experience of a trip to the French islands? Fortune does have its own attractions after all.
Take Fortune Head Ecological Reserve: “The rocks in the superbly exposed low cliffs represent the geological boundary between the Precambrian and Cambrian geological eras. Additionally, the fossils here represent the first skeletal creatures from 540 million years ago.”
The ferry route between Fortune and St. Pierre is busy enough that the decision has been made to increase the service between the French islands and Fortune to a year-round schedule. Haley recognizes the potential all this traffic could provide. “There is a tremendous opportunity to expand the tourism and hospitality industries in the region.”
And that opportunity is indeed being seized. This week, between $29,363 from ACOA’s Business Development Program, and an additional $33,750 from the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development, The Fortune Port Corporation is now working on a development plan with its $63,113 in funding.
“I am very pleased to see this investment, which will go a long way toward strengthening the economic sustainability of Fortune,” Haley says.
This project is part of the Canadian government’s commitment to drive economic growth in Atlantic Canada through tourism, as announced in July 2016 as part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy.
The Federal Government has also allocated $70 million under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund to go towards 142 water, wastewater, and public transit projects in more than 100 communities across Newfoundland and Labrador. Under this fund the Town of Fortune is receiving $258,346 to replace water and sewer lines and pavement.