By Patrick Brown, Special to the Examiner
All across the country, community centres, cultural centres, ice rinks, swimming pools, and other community projects are being improved thanks to support from the Government of Canada’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF).
As part of the government’s Economic Action Plan 2012, I recently announced over $940,000 in federal funding to refurbish the Lampman Lane Community Centre in Barrie’s north end. This amount through the CIIF fund represents about twice the amount per capita that other municipalities received.
Our government is committed to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians through investments in our communities.
By improving facilities such as Lampman Lane, we are helping to boost economic activity locally while maintaining a high quality of life for residents.
Providing these funds to help the City of Barrie refurbish Lampman Lane will revitalize the tennis courts which no longer provide the intended service, re-purpose the existing pool to an accessible splash pad, and repair and upgrade washroom facilities and park landscape elements in alignment with City Asset Management initiatives and accessibility goals.
I have spoken at length to Mayor Lehman and Ward 5 Coun. Peter Silveira on this project and they were particularly pleased about the plans for a new splash pad.
Splash pads are extremely well received by residents throughout the city especially for those with small children.
I have always felt strongly that recreation centres are cornerstones of a vibrant and healthy community. In 2000, at the age of 22, I made a new recreation centre for north Barrie a primary focus of my campaign for city council.
As an avid hockey player, I saw a large backlog for local ice time and a distinct need for more facility choices. I was fortunate to be elected as the Ward 3 councillor that year and less than two years later, I was incredibly proud to be on hand as East Bayfield Community Centre opened its’ doors to the public.
Barrie has grown dramatically in the past few decades and much of the newer growth has occurred in the city’s south end. As new homes went up and new families moved in, new public facilities, like state-of-the-art recreation centres, began to open their doors.
However, during this time of rapid growth and the building of new amenities in the south end of Barrie, some of our older facilities throughout the city were beginning to show their age. In 2009, I announced a joint federal-provincial investment of over $1.3 million to rebuild Eastview Arena and today that arena has been given new life and is serving east-end residents extremely well.
I am proud of our government’s record on helping the City of Barrie meets its recreation challenges and I will continue to explore new, viable projects to improve recreational and athletic facilities even further.
The building of quality recreational facilities is never an inexpensive undertaking, but the value they hold for a community is beyond measure.
Patrick Brown is Barrie’s MP.
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