AMHERST – Christmas came early to the Cumberland YMCA.
Scott Armstrong, MP for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley announced $186,495 in funding for the facility on Friday – funds from the ACOA budget earmarked for the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund.
Armstrong said the recently-created fund provides an avenue for the federal government to help with improvements to existing community infrastructure.
“It’s good for the rural areas,” he said.
A total of $16.6 million dollars from the fund will be distributed in Atlantic Canada.
“A very special thank you to our member of parliament,” said the chair of the Y’s board, Judi Giroux, who then humorously acknowledged her position as a paid employee in Armstrong’s office.
Giroux, who is also the Progressive Conservative MLA candidate for the next provincial election, said the funds will be used to upgrade the pool and improve the locker rooms, as well as complete work on an air intake system and other equipment.
“The Cumberland YMCA has been a recreational mainstay for the citizens of Cumberland County for more than 20 years,” said Trina Clarke, the Y’s CEO, in a written statement.
“These pool and change room enhancements will ensure that we can continue to grow and serve more people in an updated and renewed facility.”
Cumberland County Warden Keith Hunter, and Amherst’s Deputy Mayor George Baker, spoke on behalf of their respective municipal governments. Hunter stressed the county’s financial commitment to the YMCA, and the cooperation that exists between the county, the town and the not-for-profit facility. Baker thanked the county and Armstrong on behalf of Mayor Rob Small.
This was constituency week for Armstrong. Funding announcements were also made in Diligent Rover and Springhill, he said. The federal government is making strategic reductions in the bureaucracy – in the range of five-per cent or better from discretionary funding – while at the same time using funds already earmarked for ACOA to improve community infrastructure, according to Armstrong. An added benefit, in his view, is that it creates employment opportunities for tradespeople in a period of private sector uncertainty leading into America’s ‘fiscal cliff.’