Harper announces federal funding for civic centre project

Jason Malloy
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Harper announces federal funding for civic centre project

TRURO - The dream has become a reality.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced $10 million Thursday towards central Nova Scotia's long discussed civic centre on behalf of the federal government.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the Truro civic centre is now a reality," Defence Minister Peter MacKay said to a loud applause at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Centre. "As you can see, prime minister, we all like the sound of that, almost as much as we'll like the sound of excavators breaking ground."
Harper said the new facility would be a breeding ground for the next generation of hockey players.
"This modern facility will feature an NHL-size ice surface, with seating for 3,200 spectators to cheer on Truro's future draft picks," Harper said.
The nearly $50-million facility will also feature a walking track, aquatics centre, fitness centre, multi-purpose/professional space, community meeting space, a climbing wall and other amenities. Construction is expected to start this spring off of Exit 13 of Highway 102 and be complete in the fall of 2012.
The $10 million was the last big component of government funding that had not been announced.
"If it wasn't there we wouldn't be able to build it," Municipality of Colchester Mayor Bob Taylor said.
The county has committed $14.4 million, the Town of Truro $9.6 million and the provincial government $10 million. The remaining $5 million will be raised through fundraising in the community.
The idea of a regional civic centre started in 2004 during the region's bid for the 2011 Canada Winter Games.
"We all know the Games were awarded to Halifax, but the dream of a civic centre for Truro did not die," Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley M.P. Scott Armstrong said.
He noted the tireless efforts of Jon Stanfield, Duane Rath and their committee for keeping the project going. Both men, as well as a number of other steering committee members, attended the ceremony. About 80 people were invited to the announcement with many being staunch Conservative supporters.
MacKay said the facility will not be "just another municipal building."
"This will be a showcase for sport here in the Truro and surrounding area that has produced some incredible athletes," he said.
Harper was asked why it took so long for the federal government to make the announcement. He responded by congratulating Armstrong for how quickly he delivered the funding after being elected in November.
Armstrong later said the announcement was not slowed down, except for the summer provincial election and federal byelection.
"An announcement of this type has to go through several bureaucratic hurdles and those hurdles are put in place ... to make sure that taxpayers' money is spent wisely and effectively," he said.
Truro Mayor Bill Mills was already thinking about many years into the future.
"In the years ahead, when I am asked, how did we do this, let's just say 'well, we got by with a lot of help from our friends.'"

Organizations: NHL

Geographic location: TRURO, Nova Scotia, Colchester Canada Halifax

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Recent comments

  • chief wiggam
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    why not put it in the power center. no tax cost or burden.

  • dave
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    a couple of points - first, well said norm. Once upon a time, in the rural south especially, an old saw was lived by.That old saw' was, If the outgo is more than the income, the upkeep will kill you! . Would be nice if the government, such as it is, would live by those words second point - chief, nakes sense to me - but we all know why it wont be built there.

  • Brian
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    Thank you Mr Harper, it was an honour to have you in our area!!

  • Andrew
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Great to see this announcement... This is going to be a great facility... I think they are crazy if they don't make it a two ice building.

  • Just Me
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Chief Wiggam, where do you think the money will come from if not from the taxpayers no matter where this fancy place is built? It will be taxpayers' money that will build it and also maintain it.

  • Trusty Musqy
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Nice to see the PM finally made it to Truro, we were honoured to have him in Musquodoboit 5 yrs ago. [gags]

  • norm
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    In the years ahead,will we be asking ,not how?,but ,why did you do this? Another wellness centre was built in Cornwallis a few years back,now it falls further in debt by the month,the 2-3000 subscribers/users contributions do not cover the overhead and operating budget.

    This is all covered in the Herald just this week,so I am sharing it with all so you can go into this informed.Consider me another fly in the ointment if you will,but don't fool yourselves.

    Lots of beatlemania lately why not try some Steppenwolf(Canadian you say?) for a change.It's never too late to start all over again.

    I'm not advocating scrapping it(the centre),many people want it.I'm urging all to ponder the possibility of scaling the proposal to something that will definitely be sustainable.Or convince us that the current propoasl is feasable.It appears everyone who questions anything to do with this project is villified immediately as contrary and an interloper.The funding is to come from all 3 levels of government and any and all critique should be valued and welcomed.

    No boots on or shovels in the ground yet,So whats wrong with re-evaluating things that will have enormous impact on our area? That's what project managers do, I hope this will be a community centre we can all be proud of.

  • Garth
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    PM Harper delivers when the project is meaningful and worthy of taxpayers dollars.

  • Wondering
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    I still can't understand why they are only putting one ice sheet in?! We are smack middle of the province, ideal for tournaments and showcases...and with the backup in ice rentals already and the increase in womens hockey popularity, the region could use at least 2 ice surfaces, much like Cole Place.

  • Skeptic
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Good news...and exciting to have the PM visit.

    But the way it was done, with so much credit being given and taken by partisan players, there is a risk of dividing the community over the project.

    Forget breeing a few NHL stars...I hope the facility contributes to community wellness as it promises. I wonder what the now-dead library might have bred?

  • Sam
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    Norm - thanks for saving me some typing. Your comment is EXAXCTLY what I've been saying all along. I haven't even seen we a firm plan for raising the county's portion of the captial required to build this never the less run such a facility on an on-going basis.

    We still have time to think about this ... let's do it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!