Manning makes the pitch
Conception Bay North towns catch federal funds for recreation
Flanked by the mayors of Upper Island Cove, Harbour Grace and Carbonear, Senator Fabian Manning announced federal funding for various projects in all three CBN towns last Tuesday, Feb. 23.
Upper Island Cove is receiving $91,329 to help upgrade its busy recreation centre; Harbour Grace will use its $33,329 to help extend its minor soccer complex; and Carbonear has accepted over $100,000 for a heritage tourism project. See related story.
Manning said Upper Island Cove plans to use its grant to upgrade its recreation centre. “ Those renovations will include re-shingling the roof and installing new windows, exterior doors and siding.” Harbour Grace will use its $33,720 to expand its soccer complex. Funding for the recreation projects in Upper Island Cove and Harbour Grace is being provided under the Recreational Infrastructure Canada Program (RInC).
The RInC program is providing $500 million to help renovate and upgrade recreational facilities in communities across the country. It is helping to ensure local families can continue to use their local recreation facilities.
“ We all know our recreation centres and soccer pitches are the heart and soul of our communities,” Manning suggested. They not only provide a place for people to get out and get moving, but they make up an important piece of our social fabric. Parents, children, seniors, athletes and sports enthusiasts come together to exercise and be active, but also to be part of our community.”
Upper Island Cove mayor George Adams agreed, describing the recreation centre in his community as a “ beehive of activity.” Aside from athletic events, the building has become a venue for concerts and other cultural events.
Referring to the project, mayor Adams said he hopes “this will enhance the possibility of many more functions in this building for many years to come.”
Commending Senator Manning, ACOA and the federal government for “ having the foresight to invest in recreation in rural Newfoundland and Labrador,” mayor Adams suggested without such investment small towns would not be able to afford to provide such recreation facilities.
Pointing out, “there is a direct correlation between physical activity and overall health,” he said, “this will go a long way towards that end.
The mayor also pointed out that, including the federal contribution, the total allocation of money for this project would be in the range of $273,000, the balance being provided by the provincial and municipal levels of government.
While the main focus of this project funding will be the building’s exterior, the mayor noted work is also needed on the inside. “Come September, when this project is completed, we will be going knocking on doors in order to access more funding. So keep your door open Senator Manning, we’re coming!”
Regional in nature
Mayor Don Coombs recalled in 1992 they constructed a soccer pitch behind St. Francis School and started to develop a minor soccer program — a program that now includes some 500 young male and female soccer players. Stressing the point that the facility was not only for the town, Coombs said, “we are regional in nature.” Like the Harbour Grace stadium and Carbonear swimming pool, he said the soccer complex is a regional facility, there for the betterment of all our communities.
Stressing the importance of “maximizing the government money that is available for such facilities, the mayor said all three levels of government, federal, provincial and municipal are sharing in the project valued at approximately $101,000.
Almost 20 years after co-hosting the successful 1992 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games, the towns of Harbour Grace and Carbonear plan to put in a bid for the 2012 provincial summer games. Coombs said the latest investment in the field, which was part of the original games’ infrastructure will only help strengthen their chances this time around.
Admitting he is the one who gets to go around announcing federal funding for such projects, Senator Manning acknowledged, “the tremendous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes by volunteers working on their applications for funding for such projects.” He said the people who work behind the scenes contribute to the economies in their towns and regions.