Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Minister Blackett in GP to Make Funding Announcements

Back in 2007 I mentioned that a new funding program, the Major Community Facilities Program (MCFP), was launched by the provincial government at the Coca-Cola Centre in Grande Prairie. I was hopeful that the time that having the launch at the CKC would be a good omen for the city receiving some support from this program for the construction of the aquatics centre.

The program was originally supposed to provide up to $280 million in grants to communities across the province. Since it's launch the department responsible has a new minister in charge (Lindsay Blackett, MLA for Calgary North-West has take over for Hector Goudreau, MLA for Dunvegan-Central Peace) and the program has given out 131 grants adding up to $203 million.

See the list of grants given out here:
Grants in 2007/08 (pdf)
Grants in 2008/09 (pdf)

So far Grande Prairie hasn't received any money from this program towards the aquatics centre. The only grant the city has received at this point is $500,000 towards the Centre for Creative Arts renovations. Even when you add in the $350,000 the county of GP received for renos to the Clairmont arena I can't help but feel the Grande Prairie area is being left out compared to other Alberta communities

Check out these examples:

Brooks, $3.38 Million (Multiplex)
Camrose, $3.5 Million (Performing Arts Centre)
Cold Lake, $3.0 Million (Multiplex)
Leduc, $2.0 Million (Multiplex)
Lethbridge (U of L), $2.0 Million (Sports Centre)
Lethbridge, $3.68 Million (Multiplex Renewal)
Penhold, $2.0 Million (Multiplex)
Red Deer, $3.7 Million (Community Centre Renos)

Of course that's leaving out Edmonton & Calgary who have seen multiple grants. In some situations multiplex projects in the two major centres have been given grants of $10 million in one shot.

So, I'm hopeful that this afternoon we'll have some good news from Minster Blackett.

The city received $1M towards the multiplex construction. Of course we are grateful for any support but that's about 1% of the cost of the project so although it's helpful it's only so great. The minister did hand out just over $4M in grants during his visit. The Daily Herald has all the details here

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