Hudak to present arena funding

Tourism, Culture and Recreation minister Tim Hudak will be in town Friday at 1:30 p.m. to present a provincial grant towards renovations at the ’52 Canadians Arena.
The town will receive $216,511 after applying through the “SuperBuild” Sports, Culture and Tourism Partnership (SCTP) last year.
“The criteria is to do with health and safety issues. Most communities will get money for water and sewer upgrades,” Mayor Glenn Witherspoon noted yesterday.
But since the town has modern systems for both, the mayor added “the old arena fits the bill” for the safety criteria.
“We’ll be getting higher glass, improved dressing rooms, and a brighter ceiling, like the one in the new arena,” he noted.
Mayor Witherspoon added a safe walkway would be installed where a row of seats had been removed during the building of the adjacent Ice for Kids Millennium Arena.
The town found out about the provincial funding last month.
The renovations will total about $700,000, with the town pitching in one-third of the cost. The federal government also announced Thursday it will fund up to $216,511 as its share of the project.
Mayor Witherspoon noted the renovations will begin sometime in April, after the hockey season ends.
In other news, the other three candidates seeking the leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservative party will be passing through the area over the next few days.
Finance minister James Flaherty will hold a pre-budget consultation with district municipalities Saturday from 9-11 a.m. at La Place Rendez-Vous.
He’ll follow up the rest of the day with a tour through the area.
Environment minister Elizabeth Witmer will be here for a luncheon at noon Monday. Those interested in attending are urged to contact Mayor Witherspoon, who is president of the local PC riding association, as soon as possible at 274-6922.
And former Finance minister Ernie Eves will be here Tuesday at 4:20 p.m. for the official opening of the Sunset Country Métis office at 426 Victoria Ave.
He’ll then be at the local Legion to meet the public around 4:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Labour minister Chris Stockwell and Health and Long-Term Care minister Tony Clement, who also are vying to succeed Premier Mike Harris, already have visited the area.