June 4, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The groundbreaking for a new 5,400-sq.-m (60,000-sq.-ft.) YMCA facility was marked here today by the federal and provincial governments, the City of Fredericton and the Fredericton YMCA.
Participating in the event were Environment Minister Rick Miles; Finance Minister Greg Byrne; federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities John Baird; National Revenue Minister Keith Ashfield, who is also minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and minister for the Atlantic Gateway; Brad Woodside, mayor of Fredericton; and J.W. (Bud) Bird, campaign chair for the Fredericton YMCA.
"The Fredericton YMCA plays a key role in the capital region," said Miles. "It offers a variety of programs for all ages, which supports our government's commitment to promote wellness, active living, quality of life and self-sufficiency."
The facility will include a wellness centre, gymnasium, squash courts, community rooms, a child development centre, and a 25-m lap pool plus an instructional warm water pool.
"Today's event is another milestone for this important community infrastructure project for Fredericton," said Byrne. "The economic, social and community benefits of this project will be felt immediately and for many years to come."
Funding was originally announced in September 2009 when the provincial government sold a 2.6-ha (6.5-acre) parcel, valued at $2.5 million, for $1 to the YMCA. The federal government is providing up to $5.275 million from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. The YMCA will finance the remaining costs.
"Here in Fredericton, and across the province, the Government of Canada is helping to create jobs and support the economy during the second and final year of Canada's Economic Action Plan," said Baird. "By investing in important community projects - such as the new Fredericton YMCA facility - we are supporting workers and families today and for years to come."
Ashfield said, "Today's event marks another very important step forward for the Fredericton YMCA, which the Government of Canada has provided more than $5 million to build. Investing in recreation facilities and local infrastructure such as the YMCA ensures that Fredericton has vibrant community buildings for the city's residents to enjoy."
"Breaking ground is exciting for our federal, provincial and municipal partners, our community investors, and everyone who is looking forward to Your New Y," said Bird. "The substantial investment of all three levels of government in 2009 put us on the fast track to open in spring 2011. This is another great milestone in the 152-year history of our Y."
Since the original announcement, Fredericton city council has added a new grant of for the YMCA for its new capital campaign. This will result in $50,000 per year for the next five years for a total of $250,000 for the YMCA.
"The City of Fredericton is a proud financial supporter of the new Fredericton YMCA," said Woodside. "This new facility will enable the YMCA to strengthen its commitment toward the health of our children, our families and our community."
The federal and New Brunswick governments have agreed to work together to ensure that funding is delivered quickly and efficiently to municipalities in New Brunswick.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Marie-Josée Groulx, Communications New Brunswick, 506-444-3465; James Kusie, Office of Canada's Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Minister, 613-991-0700; Infrastructure Canada, 613-948-1148.