Funding earmarked for arena renovations

Work is expected to start in April after both Ottawa and the province announced funding last week to help cover the cost of renovations to the ’52 Canadians Arena.
The project will include replacing arena boards, higher glass, and up-to-date heating and ventilation systems in the change rooms and pool area, among others.
Tourism, Recreation and Culture minister Tim Hudak was at the Memorial Sports Centre here Friday afternoon to present $216,511 through the “SuperBuild” Sports, Culture and Tourism Partnership (SCTP).
“Through ‘SuperBuild,’ we are investing in and building strong communities across Ontario,” Hudak told Mayor Glenn Witherspoon, several councillors, and Civic Centre staff during a short ceremony.
“Sport, culture, and tourism facilities have a significant impact in our communities,” he added. “And by improving health and safety conditions to meet community needs, we are creating jobs and enhancing local economic development.”
Hudak was given a brief tour of the Memorial Sports Centre by Mayor Witherspoon and Community Services manager George Bell.
“We are pleased to get this level of support from both the federal and provincial government to address health and safety concerns at the ’52 Canadians Arena of the Memorial Sports Centre, ” the mayor noted.
“It’s a plus for Fort Frances. And when we benefit, the whole district benefits,” he stressed.
The $674,532 cost for the renovations will be split equally between the province, town, the federal government.
Local MP Robert Nault, also minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, issued a press release last Thursday announcing the federal share.
“Arenas and community centres are fundamental to our quality of life in Northwestern Ontario,” Nault stated. “I am pleased that the Government of Canada recognizes this and as a result, we are making these important investments in our communities.
“Not only will this benefit the communities involved, but also residents who live in smaller towns and villages that rely on these types of facilities on a regular basis.
“This is another example of how northerners co-operate in order that we are able to build and upgrade our infrastructure in the north,” Nault remarked.
The funding announcement is one of a series of matching federal and provincial investments to help municipalities protect the health and safety of their residents through essential infrastructure projects totalling more than $212 million to date in Ontario.