Tight deadline for recreational infrastructure funding

SMITHERS– Northwest municipalities will need to move with warp speed to take advantage of the first installment of recreational infrastructure spending released by Ottawa today, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen warned.

Project proposals are due by May 29, while projects needing more time have until June 19.  Federal funding is from $54 million made available today from the Recreational Infrastructure Canada Program of Western Economic Diversification Canada.

“I’ve been checking with the WED minister every few weeks, urging her to get some money out the door,” Cullen said.  “Ms. Yelich gave me the heads-up a few hours ago that the funds are finally starting to flow.”

Cullen noted strong support for recreational infrastructure funding throughout his 10-community economic riding tour last January that sought input into priorities for the February budget. 

He urged local governments, nonprofit agencies, and band and tribal councils to apply to the funding package released today, despite tight deadlines and the unwieldy one-third, one-third, one-third cost-sharing formula which he continues to oppose in Ottawa.

Eligible projects for today’s call for proposals include upgrades and repairs to existing arenas, gymnasiums, swimming pools, sports fields and courts,  parks, fitness trails, and physical recreation multi-purpose facilities.

The funding is part of a larger $500-million package the government was forced to earmark for recreational infrastructure spending as a result of strong pressure by Opposition parties last winter for economic stimulus spending.

Application details for today’s spending announcement are available at http://www.wd-deo.gc.ca/ or toll-free at 1-888-338-9378.

Contact: Shelley Browne, 250-877-4142; nathan.cullen.c1@parl.gc.ca