Bay­plex wait­ing for money

MP, MLA say ren­o­va­tion fund­ing will ar­rive soon

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS GLACE BAY/NEW WATERFORD & AREA - BY SHARON MONT­GOMERY-DUPE sharon.mont­gomery@cb­post.com

A mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil­lor be­lieves the pro­vin­cial and fed­eral govern­ments are on board with the Bay­plex ren­o­va­tion pro­ject — but where’s the money?

Dist. 10 Coun. Dar­ren Bruckschwaiger says the pro­ject needed to be­gin by May or it might not meet its of­fi­cial open­ing date of Septem­ber 2019.

“I’m get­ting very con­cerned that it’s very close to that not hap­pen­ing,” Bruckschwaiger said Thursday. “It’s im­por­tant that we get this thing go­ing.”

Bruckschwaiger said within the last 10 days he has spo­ken to both Cape Bre­ton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner and Glace Bay MLA Ge­off MacLel­lan.

“Ge­off said he’s just wait­ing on some­thing from Rodger and it’s all set to go,” he said. “I just hold out hope some­thing hap­pens soon.”

Bruckschwaiger said this is an im­por­tant pro­ject for the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity and the com­mu­nity.

“We heard that loud and clear and we went to coun­cil and got it ap­proved. We want this to pro­ceed ASAP.”

In March, the CBRM ap­proved fund­ing for re­pairs to the Bay­plex. The re­pairs — es­ti­mated at $9 mil­lion over two years — are to be cost­shared by the three lev­els of gov­ern­ment with the CBRM’s share in 2018 stand­ing at $1.5 mil­lion, based on the fed­eral and pro­vin­cial govern­ments also com­mit­ting $1.5 mil­lion each.

“When you look at the fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion the CBRM is in, I give full ku­dos to the lo­cal coun­cil­lors (Dar­ren) Bruckschwaiger and (Ge­orge) MacDonald for push­ing the pro­ject and I know Mayor (Ce­cil) Clarke is fully sup­port­ive as well,” said Cuzner.

“I un­der­stand one of the things that tied the ap­pli­ca­tion up for a bit was the guar­an­tee of sus­tain­abil­ity,” he said.

“It had to re­ceive a mo­tion from coun­cil of when (the CBRM was) go­ing to take over the oper­a­tion of the Bay­plex. Once that was done then the ap­pli­ca­tion was able to pro­ceed.”

Cuzner said to be fair to the prov­ince, it has only had the ap­pli­ca­tion for a cou­ple weeks and due dili­gence must be done.

“I’m con­fi­dent that Ge­off will usher that through and I’ve talked to my peo­ple (in Ottawa), once it comes up to the fed­eral level I’m sure that we’ll be able to act quickly.”

MacLel­lan, who is also the Nova Sco­tia Busi­ness min­is­ter, be­lieves the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s fi­nal sig­noff date was about two weeks ago.

MacLel­lan said the fund­ing has to re­ceive Trea­sury Board ap­proval be­fore it can pro­ceed to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

“I wouldn’t think it’s go­ing to take more than a few weeks,” he said. “Once we have it fi­nal­ized our pro­cesses are rel­a­tively quick.”

The MLA shares the con­cerns of his col­leagues with re­spect to the time­line.

“The sooner the bet­ter. The pub­lic ap­pre­ci­ates how im­por­tant the Bay­plex is and I don’t want the process to get lost in the time de­lays.”

MacLel­lan is con­fi­dent all three lev­els of gov­ern­ment will pro­vide fund­ing.

“We’re go­ing to work to­gether to make sure that process fi­nal­izes and the money is flow­ing in as soon as pos­si­ble.

“The money is go­ing to be there and the plan is fi­nal­ized, we’re in good shape. It’s in­cum­bent upon all of us to be push­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion along as quickly as pos­si­ble and hope­fully will have it all fi­nal­ized in the near fu­ture.”

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity of­fi­cially took over the Bay­plex in Novem­ber 2017.

“When you look at the fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion the CBRM is in, I give full ku­dos to the lo­cal coun­cil­lors (Dar­ren) Bruckschwaiger and (Ge­orge) MacDonald for push­ing the pro­ject and I know Mayor (Ce­cil) Clarke is fully sup­port­ive as well,” said Cuzner.

Cape Bre­ton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner

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