Harper in town, expected to make civic centre funding announcement

Jason Malloy
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TRURO - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to announce funds for the region's civic centre when he visits Truro today.
No one would confirm the nature of the announcement, but if the prime minister is coming, expect it to be big. The fact that Premier Darrell Dexter, Truro Mayor Bill Mills and Colchester County Mayor Bob Taylor will also be attending lends credence that the announcement will be for the civic centre, as each politician represents other funding
partners.
"I can't comment directly on what the announcement is because that hasn't been released yet, but I am really hopeful it is a major announcement for our riding," said Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley member of Parliament Scott Armstrong.
The federal government has indicated it is committed to the project a few times during the past year but has yet to announce funds. Late last year, the local organizing committee had budgeted $10 million from the federal government towards the $50-million multi-purpose centre.
The announcement, which is by invitation only, will be made at 1:45 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Centre. How many people have been invited was not available yesterday.
The prime minister will be joined by Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Armstrong for an economic roundtable later in the afternoon with local business leaders selected by the Prime Minister's Office.
Harper might also attend a private function Armstrong has for some of the people who helped in his byelection victory. He said the two events occurring the same day are not connected as his event was planned for a few weeks.
"(The prime minister's) announcement that he is coming tomorrow is really a total coincidence," Armstrong said.
Today's visit will be Harper's first to town since he became prime minister.
While many people supported Armstrong during the byelection, Harper still remains somewhat controversial locally for his disparaging remarks about Atlantic Canada nearly a decade ago and his handling of well-respected former MP Bill Casey.

Geographic location: Colchester County, Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, Atlantic Canada

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Recent comments

  • Anderson
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    Our voice is being heard? Not likely. If Harper was at all interested in democracy he wouldn't hold his announcement as a private party.

    I thought the whole point of his winter vacation was to get out and listen to Canadians.

    I suppose he doesn't want to hear us telling him to get back to work.

  • Joe
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    Last Christmas, Harper was in his home riding of Calgary Southwest, and played some four-handed cribbage, in an old-folks home. And he got flak for that too ! Give the guy a break already.

  • shannon
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    It's not Armstrong's place to announce PM's intentions....that should come from PM's office. Congratulations to Mr. Armstrong...it is pretty special to have the PM come to our riding and shows his efforts and work are being heard in Colchester Cumberland Musquodoboit residents....our voice is being heard in Ottawa thanks to Armstrong's efforts.

  • Sam
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Let's look at this for what it is .. nothing but a photo op and some PR. If the PM et all were really concerned about getting things accomplished they'd be back in Ottawa getting things done in the House not touring Truro and meeting with a select few . I would hazzard to say that the value of today's round table will be little none in the long run.

    Again - I'd say this of ANY party in power that is doing this ... typical politics !!!

  • JJ
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Welcome to Truro, Mr. Prime Minister. I welcome you, however, I think the best place for you to be in is Ottawa, recalling Parliament; this country has some very serious issues to deal with and while I support your government, I do not support the fact that Parliament has an extended break until after the games. A $10 million announcement is something one of your Ministers should handle, not the Prime Minister of our country. This money should not be spent on a civic centre; it should go towards health, education, and other important areas. What is Truro going to do with a NHL sized rink? What's next - NHL franchise? No federal, provincial, and especially municipal money should be spent on this civic centre.

    What is more important - health care, education, economic renewal or a civic centre - something for the many or something for the few?

    Have a nice visit.

  • Barton
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    P.S. Anderson. The Prime Minister is holding an economic round table later this afternoon as well.

  • Anderson
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    An economic round table for invited guests. Not much of an opportunity for diverse thought.

    As for respect - how about a little respect for democracy, or parliament, or the people of this riding. Instead he's taken a vacation so that he doesn't get embarrassed for torture when the world comes to Canada for the Olympics.

    Harper showed up for the elite Reform Party few. Not for the Canadians he's on vacation to consult with. Certainly not for us. Remember Bill Casey.

  • Wayto
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Way to go Mayor Bob Taylor who had the strength to run for office on the platform that he wanted the new Civic Centre. Transparency and Vision. Great Leadership allows for days like this when our nation's PM will visit and listen to our voices !!!! BRAVO !!

  • Just Askin'
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Harper's ministers are NOT allowed to speak or announce anything, unless it is Peter MacKay. The rest open their mouth and stick in their foot (Raitt, et al). Harper thinks it isn't safe to have them talk.

  • Samantha
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    I think it is wonderfull that Prime Minister Harper is coming here. Sure I would like to be there myself and hear what he going to say but I can understand the need for security.
    Steven Harper has been the best Prime Minister that Canada has had in YEARS!

    God bless you Prime Minister Harper, Mayor Bill Mills, MLA Armstrong.

  • Bill
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Yeah, Harper heard our voices right from the mouth of Bill Casey and fired him for it. Harper does not want to hear any other voices but his own. As for being better off, you must not be talking about gay society or the environment. Changing their name to Conservative basically fooled the country into electing the Reform Party.

  • Harper's #1 Fan
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Go Harper! I am so glad to have you as my Prime Minister!

  • flogger
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    If Harper does not come to town with some $$$, the leftie-Liberals/dippers whine. If Harper does come to Truro with some $$$, the leftie-Liberals/dippers whine. Let's face it, Liberals and dippers are whiners. Harper has done nothing but good for this country. Imagine the financial shape we'd be in right now if the high spending-high taxing Liberals like Dion, Iggy, Rae were in power? Oh, by the way, I'm sure that between the high Liberal taxation and the Liberal spending, they might just pocket a little bit for themselves === Gomery ...

  • In
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    10 million from the gov't kinda seems like an insult to me.

  • flogger
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    GORTEX , you better bone up on your history. Yeah, I sure do remember the Chretien & Martin cuts in the mid-90's and on; they gutted the health care system, screwed up equalization, AND raised taxes, AND, don't forget it was your overpayment in taxes that brought in nice big surpluses for the lefties and the elites in Upper Canada ... and oh, don't forget the Liberal cash that ended up in Quebec Liberal hands i.e. GOMERY. And don't forget Chretiens PROMISE to end the GST, huh?? AND speaking of the Senate, who has a majority in the Senate that has blocked crime and punishment legislation?? Liberals maybe?? AND, don't forget that the libbies in the Senate have blocked Senate reform too ... but I suppose you are in favour of big, fat pensions for the sober-second-thinkers?? So, maybe your recollection of history is as bad as mine. The PM brings $$$ to this area and Liberals whine, whine, whine. If Mr. Dithers brought it, you and others would be singing his praises. Yep, glass houses and stones.

  • Gortex
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Flogger, you seem to have an odd view of history. the high spending-high taxing Liberals

    You'll recall that it was the Liberals (namely Chretien and Martin) who made the incredibly painful cuts to spending in order to fix the mess that occurred under Mulroney.

    Conservatives introduced the income tax (Robert Borden in 1916). Conservatives introduced the GST (Mulroney in 1991).
    Conservatives brought Canada to the brink of bankruptcy in the 1980's and 1990's.
    Conservatives stacked the Senate to pass NAFTA, which undercut small Canadian businesses.
    Conservatives are currently attempting to spend & indebt the country out of a recession, a strategy that has been proven ineffective time and again.

    Yes, there is a huge list of things we can criticize the Liberal Party for, but don't throw stones when you live in glass houses.

  • Rob
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    I`m all for the Civic Centre , as any investment in the area is great , but where is it going to be built ? Don`t tell me it`s going to be on that flood plain near the stadium ? How about higher ground ?

  • Kim
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Today,the day Harper is in town,Our own Scott Armstrong says he don,t really know what Harper is here for.Has not been released yet, Give me a break,
    Whats he turning into ,Harpers little boy
    Where is Bill Casey????

  • Barton
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Anderson, I wonder how many people would try to cause a ruckus or protest if this announcement was for public access (and what about security). The Greens and Dippers are planning a protest today. There are times when people should know when to be respectful. Regardless of political stripe we should all have some level of respect for our elected officials, as I do with Darrell Dexter though I have little faith in the NDP to actually govern effectively. What is happening today is a formal funding announcement for millions of dollars that will go towards a project which will benefit our entire region, it would be a shame for it to be ruined by a bunch of disruptive protesters in the room...don't you think? Some days the partisan stuff has to be set aside...Case in Point, Darrell Dexter was invited to the announcement and will be in attendance.