The federal government is now officially on board with the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities was at École Mountview Elementary School on Friday to announce an $11.2 million contribution from Ottawa over three years.
Of that, $3 million goes to the redevelopment of Great Chief Park, while the remainder goes to operating costs.
“It’s not only for the Games in that it is the long-track speed skating venue, but of course it’s also the main football stadium in town. So when you look at the impact of this funding, it’s not just the Games and winter sport. It has long-term implications for the city and the residents as a whole.”
Robinson says support from all levels of government is critical to the success of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
“We have a $45 million budget and we need our federal, provincial and municipal funding partners to make the games a reality. So this is a big announcement today," he noted. "We’re really excited about it. It starts to solidify our plans and make sure that we’re on track and able to be on track moving forward.”
Mayor Tara Veer says upgrades to Great Chief Park is something the City of Red Deer has long felt “would be nice to do,” but says likely wouldn’t be happening if not for this federal funding.
“Now [we] can fill our infrastructure commitments in a way that’s affordable for our local citizens,” she said. “It stimulates our local economy in a time where we need it the most. Ultimately it builds the community we are so fortunate to call our home and positions Red Deer for a promising future.”
Qualtrough said the funding allocation is one that benefits Red Deer and the entire country.
“Our government knows how investing in sport leads to strong, resilient communities. It builds great athletes, it builds healthy kids, and it leaves cultural, social and economic legacies in the community. There’s just no downside as far as I’m concerned.”
Overall, Robinson said preparations for the 2019 Games are pretty much on schedule.
“Things seem to be on track and everybody is happy so far, so we’re excited. This announcement today just gives us an extra boost knowing that the country and federal government is behind the Games.”
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