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Is it Funding The Gazebos…

Posted in Youth Corner

Published on May 29, 2015 with No Comments

By Tazeen Inam

Whenever a government calls for a community related development plan, it touches the heart of the people, and when the announcement comes close to the scheduled elections, then who do you think will win? It could be a win win situation for both, the people and the government, until the decision is not sparked just to get fervor boost for the election.

In a recent attempt Prime Minister Stephen Harper, announced a $150 million “Canada 150” community infrastructure program. The program aims at investing across Canada to rehabilitate, renovate and expand existing public infrastructure for community use. The program, which is anticipated to support projects in communities of all sizes across the country, will be delivered nationally through the Government of Canada’s regional economic development agencies.

Although, this program is other than what was announced in April 2015-Canada 150 Fund. The Fund provides a total of $210 million over four years, starting this year, for activities, events and celebrations across Canada.

However, in Mississauga, the Meadowvale community centre that is already in a redevelopment and renovation phase doesn’t need a fund like this. As mentioned by a recreational director at one of the community centre, “Renovations are part of it and all recreational spots undergo specific up gradation after certain time period.”

Similarly, opposition parties seem to be cheesed off by the announcement, as it appears to be a last moment feel-good attempt of this year’s federal election campaign. Provinces, municipalities and community groups have as little as three weeks to get their proposals in for the new “Canada 150” infrastructure fund, prompting concern that the Conservatives are rushing to spend the cash ahead of the coming election.

Since then, some of the agencies have posted details on how to apply. FedDev Ontario announced its deadline is June 9, while the development agency for Western Canada has a June 17 deadline and the agency for Quebec is taking submissions until June 26.

The agency for Western Canada is promising to inform successful applicants within 90 days of the deadline, which would fall around early September when the election campaign is expected to start.

As the critics believed that this might be a temporary success, for it seems promising in the beginning but unlikely to deliver anything in the end. However, Mr. Harper suggested the fund could be used for a wide range of projects.

“Curling rinks, arenas, walking trails and bike routes, theatres and community halls in small towns and big cities alike, these are places where people come together,” he said at a Truro, N.S. recreational centre. “They are literally the beating hearts of the communities we live in.”

 

 

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