Con­ven­tion cen­tre fund­ing won’t af­fect roads

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - OPINION - Bill Estabrooks Min­is­ter of Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture Re­newal

Dear Edi­tor:

Re­cent me­dia cov­er­age of our govern­ment’s ef­forts to se­cure fed­eral fund­ing for a new con­ven­tion cen­tre may have left some Nova Sco­tians with the im­pres­sion that fund­ing for a new cen­tre would come at a cost to much needed road projects.

I want to as­sure all Nova Sco­tians that our fund­ing request for the con­ven­tion cen­tre will in no way af­fect our abil­ity to de­liver on our re­cently re­leased Five-Year High­way Im­prove­ment Plan. This plan is a long-term blue­print for build­ing and main­tain­ing a high­way sys­tem that con­nects com­mu­ni­ties and boosts our econ­omy, and I en­cour­age ev­ery­one to view the plan on­line at www.gov.ns.ca/tran.

Our govern­ment’s com­mit­ment to roads has been demon­strated over the last two years through the largest high­way im­prove­ment bud­gets in the prov­ince’s his­tory. We know that build­ing and main­tain­ing roads and in­fra­struc­ture cre­ates thou­sands of jobs, al­lows lo­cal busi­nesses to trans­port goods to mar­ket, con­nects Nova Sco­tians to vi­tal ser­vices, em­ploy­ment and ed­u­ca­tion, and leads vis­i­tors to ev­ery corner of the prov­ince.

We are seek­ing fed­eral con­ven­tion cen­tre fund­ing un­der the Build Canada Plan, which has sup­ported a wide va­ri­ety of projects across the prov­ince, in­clud­ing roads, bridges, recre­ation cen­tres, wa­ter and waste wa­ter sys­tems and broad­band.

To date, about two-thirds of this fund­ing has been al­lo­cated to road im­prove­ments, and the rest to other im­por­tant in­fra­struc­ture projects around the prov­ince, in­clud­ing the Pic­tou Recre­ation Cen­ter, Ap­pleDome, Queens Place Recre­ation Cen­ter, HRM Li­brary, Canada Games Main­land Com­mon, Lunen­burg Recre­ation Cen­tre, Cen­tral Nova Civic Cen­tre and East Hants Soc­cer Field.

The con­ven­tion cen­tre is an­other wor­thy can­di­date for fund­ing un­der this pro­gram. In­deed, Build Canada fund­ing has been pro­vided to con­ven­tion cen­tres in other prov­inces.

The Tourism In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion of Nova Sco­tia calls the new con­ven­tion cen­tre one of the most sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments in the prov­ince’s tourism sec­tor in decades and a key eco­nomic generator for the en­tire prov­ince.

We re­main com­mit­ted to grow­ing our econ­omy by in­vest­ing in a va­ri­ety of in­fra­struc­ture projects that will cre­ate jobs and lo­cal eco­nomic ben­e­fits right across our prov­ince.

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