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Investing in Communities across the West

Hundreds of projects to revitalize community facilities, such as swimming pools, hockey arenas and community centres, are now underway across Western Canada.

These initiatives are part of the Government of Canada’s $150 million Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF) to support repairs and improvements to existing community facilities across the country and help create jobs.

"Our Government remains focused on delivering strategic community and economic development programs that have a long-lasting, positive impact on our residents," said Minister Lynne Yelich, who launched the program in Kenaston, Saskatchewan in 2012. "Community facilities bring families and residents together, and our Government’s support for these facilities is generating economic activity and jobs."

WD is responsible for delivering Western Canada’s share of the fund, which is $46.2 million. A resounding success, the program was met with enthusiasm across the West, and all funding under the program has now been allocated.

Community infrastructure projects supported through CIIF are strengthening communities across the country and making Western Canada an even better place to live, work and play. As part of the government’s Economic Action Plan, this funding is creating jobs in communities across the country, offering broad-based economic benefits as well as renewed infrastructure.

British Columbia

Upgrading a Vancouver Landmark

Photo of (Left to Right): Bill Harding, Director of Parks, City of Vancouver; Niki Sharma, Commissioner, Vancouver Parks Board; John Coupar, Commissioner, Vancouver Parks Board, Emma Bolzner, Minister Yelich, Geoff Meggs, Deputy Mayor, City of Vancouver, and Parliamentary Secretary Andrew Saxton.

L-R: Bill Harding, Director of Parks, City of Vancouver; Niki Sharma, Commissioner, Vancouver Parks Board; John Coupar, Commissioner, Vancouver Parks Board, Emma Bolzner, Minister Yelich, Geoff Meggs, Deputy Mayor, City of Vancouver, Parliamentary Secretary Andrew Saxton.

Thanks to structural upgrades made possible with federal funding, the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver will continue to provide a home for exotic plants, flowers and wildlife.

"Our Government is pleased to support infrastructure projects across the country like the roof replacement project at the Bloedel Conservatory," said Minister Lynne Yelich. "This investment will serve to enhance the experience and services provided by this facility, which provides visitors with access to a year-round tropical garden."

Federal support is helping the City of Vancouver to replace the existing roof panels and refurbish the central ventilation fan at the top of the conservatory’s dome.

Twelve-year old Emma Bolzner helped Minister Yelich announce the investment. Emma is one of the conservatory’s biggest supporters and has raised over $750 for the facility. Her creative fundraising efforts include encouraging friends and family to donate to the conservatory instead of giving her birthday gifts.

Since 1969, the Conservatory has stood at the heart of Queen Elizabeth Park, featuring 500 unique plants and flowers and over 100 free-flying birds.

The investment made by WD will extend the life of the conservatory and ensure that it remains a valuable asset to the community.

Enhancing the experience at Maplewood Farm

Photo of PS Saxton, Mayor Walton and some of the school children posed with some of the goats at the Farm.

PS Saxton, Mayor Walton and some of the school children with goats at the Farm.

North Vancouver families were happy to hear that one of their beloved destinations is getting much-needed support from the federal government.

Boasting some 90,000 visitors a year, Maplewood Farm is one of North Vancouver’s top tourist attractions. Thanks to a WD investment under CIIF, it is undergoing several infrastructure upgrades to ensure it continues to attract families and boost the economy well into the future.

In November 2012, Parliamentary Secretary Andrew Saxton announced that Maplewood Farm will receive federal funding for improvements to the farm.

"Here in North Vancouver, Maplewood Farm is an important part of community life," said Parliamentary Secretary Saxton. "Our Government’s support for this facility will provide it with new, modern components and increase accessibility for visitors."

Upgrades to the farm include new shelters by the animal-viewing pens, washroom renovations, and increased accessibility for persons with disabilities.

The CIIF investment will build upon funding already dedicated to this project by the District of North Vancouver.

"The District is pleased to partner with the Government of Canada to upgrade Maplewood Farm’s infrastructure," said North Vancouver District Mayor Richard Walton. "The funding, which the District will match, will allow us to carry out much-needed upgrades to the Farm, including increasing accessibility for persons with disabilities."

First opened to the public in 1975, Maplewood Farm has a long legacy of providing a truly unique experience for families and animal-lovers alike.

With a collection of over 200 domestic farm animals and birds, picnic areas, and pony and pedal tractor rides, the five-acre farm provides a variety of options for family fun.

Federal funding improves fire rescue training facility

Thanks to recently-announced CIIF funding, the Oyster River Volunteer Fire Rescue Association’s facility is undergoing important renovations.

"Our Government is pleased to support infrastructure projects across the country like the renovations to the fire rescue training facility here in Black Creek," said MP John Duncan. "The Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund will benefit Canadian families and communities immediately, helping to support job creation, boosting economic activity, as well as creating safe and accessible community infrastructure facilities for years to come."

With federal support, the Oyster River Volunteer Fire Rescue Association will purchase and install new doors, windows, insulation and locks at the Black Creek facility. They will also paint the structure, and upgrade the plumbing, wiring and culverts.

"The members of Oyster River Volunteer Fire Rescue very much welcome the opportunity to complete the interior of the facility and expand its training capabilities so that it can be put to full use in the training of emergency response personnel," said Fire Chief Niels Holbek.

Founded in 1976, the fire rescue training association provides fire protection, rescue, extrication from motor vehicle accidents and emergency first responder service in the Black Creek, Oyster Bay, and York Road areas of British Columbia.

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Infrastructure Improvements "Sweep" Across Edmonton

Photo of (Left to Right): Joan Westgard, President of the Thistle Curling Club, Minister Yelich, MP James Rajotte, and Barry Westgard, Vice-President of the Thistle Curling Club.

Left to Right: Joan Westgard, President of the Thistle Curling Club, Minister Yelich, MP James Rajotte, and Barry Westgard, Vice-President of the Thistle Curling Club.


Thanks to federal support through CIIF, six community facilities in Edmonton are seeing significant infrastructure improvements to bring long-term economic benefits to the city.

Minister Lynne Yelich and MP James Rajotte were in Edmonton mid-March to announce the series of investments. Specifically, upgrades will be made to the Thistle Curling Club, Pleasantview Community League, Edmonton Ski Club, Alberta Avenue Community League, Fort Edmonton Park and the Edmonton Radial Railway Society.

"Our Government is pleased today to announce support for so many excellent projects in Edmonton," said Minister Yelich. "Families and communities across the city will benefit from these initiatives, which will leave a lasting legacy of modernized community facilities."

Photo of (Left to Right): Barry Westgard, Vice-President of the Thistle Curling Club, Minister Yelich, and MP James Rajotte at the Thistle Curling Club.

Left to Right: Barry Westgard, Vice-President of the Thistle Curling Club, Minister Yelich, and MP James Rajotte at the Thistle Curling Club.

Funding for these facilities was announced at the Thistle Curling Club, which was founded in 1920, making it Edmonton’s oldest curling club. The Thistle caters to recreational and competitive curlers of all ages and is home to the annual Icemakers Bonspiel, an event held in the late spring to honour those who work and volunteer in the curling world.

With help from federal funding, visitors of the curling club will see several improvements to the facility, most notably upgrades to the front entry area. In addition, the club will undergo upgrades to its ceiling, the installation of a new cafeteria counter, and interior improvements throughout the facility. The Thistle has enjoyed decades of busy and successful seasons, and support through CIIF enables it to continue doing so long into the future.

"We are very appreciative of this assistance from the Government of Canada," said Joan Westgard, President of the Thistle Curling Club. "Our now brightly lit and newly refinished entryway is a welcome sight as we enter or exit the club. And we look forward to being able to renovate the concession area at the conclusion of the curling season."

The other announced infrastructure projects will also boost tourism and generate economic activity across Edmonton. Improvements to the streetcar tracks at Fort Edmonton Park will lead to an increase in visitors and a variety of upgrades to the Alberta Avenue Community Centre will ensure that it may continue to host a number of sports, recreation and social activities for the community.

Federal funding will also improve passenger safety Edmonton’s High Level Bridge streetcar line, enhance Edmonton Ski Club’s lighting facilities and snow delivery system, and upgrade the Pleasantview Community League’s parking lot.

"I am proud to see Edmonton benefit from the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund," said MP Rajotte. "Investments under this fund will ensure the longevity of these important community facilities."

Red Deer Library Revitalized

The Red Deer Public Library will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2014 – and now, thanks to federal funding through CIIF, the facility is prepared to serve residents and visitors for another hundred years.

A federal investment towards the library, announced by MP Earl Dreeshen in November, supported electrical upgrades and the installation of new air conditioning equipment, along with several other interior renovations.

"I am proud to see Red Deer benefit from our Government’s support for local infrastructure," said MP Dreeshen. "Libraries are integral facilities that provide communities with accessible facilities for academic, educational and recreational use. Our investment is allowing the Red Deer Public Library to continue serving the community for years to come."

Upgrades made to the Red Deer Public Library are reducing operating costs, creating a more energy efficient facility, and providing a more comfortable, modernized learning space for public enjoyment.

"Red Deer Public Library is pleased to receive support from the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund for important renovations to one of Red Deer's most used public facilities," said Duncan Anderson, Board Chair of the Red Deer Library Board. "Along with support from the provincial Community Facility Enhancement Program and the City of Red Deer's tax levy, the federal funds will help to make the Library's Downtown Branch more accessible, energy-efficient, and aesthetically pleasing."

Major Upgrades to Ken Nichol Regional Recreation Centre

The Ken Nichol Regional Recreation Centre in Beaumont, Alberta received much-needed upgrades, including the replacement of the ventilation system, improvements to the roof, and the installation of new signage, thanks to federal support through CIIF.

Federal funding was announced in January 2013 by Parliamentary Secretary Mike Lake.

"Our Government is focused on what matters to Canadians – creating jobs and growth," said Parliamentary Secretary Lake. "By investing in local infrastructure projects, our Government continues to support communities like Beaumont across the country while boosting economic activity."

JJ Straker, Director of Parks and Facilities with the Town of Beaumont, says that renovations are on schedule and are not impacting day-to-day operations.

"Currently, all users have normal access and bookings are continuing as normal," says Straker. "The tender process has been completed for both the architectural upgrades and the curling floor replacement. The building will still be in use in during the renovations, so user safety is our number one priority."

As a community hub, the Centre offers a wide range of activities year-round, from public skating to curling and dance classes. The CIIF investment will be used to improve the Centre’s operational efficiency and enhance the recreational experiences of visitors.


Federal Support Benefits Saskatchewan Residents with Learning Disabilities

Photo of Minister Yelich celebrating CIIF funding with LDAS President Michael Karras, student Ian Small, and Executive Director Dale Rempel.

Minister Yelich celebrates CIIF funding with LDAS President Michael Karras, student Ian Small, and Executive Director Dale Rempel.

Thanks to federal funding, the Learning Disabilities Association of Saskatchewan (LDAS) offices is undergoing a much-needed facelift that is seeing its Saskatoon location get a new kitchen, automatic door opener and washrooms that meet accessibility standards.

"I am very happy to see Saskatchewan residents with learning disabilities benefit from the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund," said Minister Lynne Yelich at the funding announcement. "By improving facilities such as this, we are ensuring that residents have access to the community services they need."

Upgrades are also being made to electrical and mechanical systems at the Saskatoon offices. These renovations significantly improve the quality of service LDAS can provide to its clients.

"It has long been our dream to purchase our own building, and when the opportunity came up we seized it. But it was an older building, so the retrofits needed were costly," said Dale Rempel, Executive Director of the LDAS. "This funding couldn’t have come at a better time for us. It has allowed us to expand the programs we offer and to have a bright and pleasant environment for our clients."

The LDAS offers a range of programs to improve skills such as reading, writing and problem-solving to help those with learning disabilities succeed.

Yorkton Airport Gets Runway Upgrade

An aerial shot of Yorkton Airport.

An aerial shot of Yorkton Airport. Photo courtesy of the City of Yorkton.

Thanks to federal support, the Yorkton Municipal Airport is receiving upgrades to improve the movement of aircraft on its runways. New signage and lighting, and better runway drainage, will also help make the airport safer.

"Facilities like this one are important – they serve the business community, which provides the foundation for continued economic growth in the area," said MP Garry Breitkreuz.

Federal funding under the CIIF program will cover construction work – slated for summer 2013 – and support the creation of additional jobs for the community of Yorkton.

"The projects made possible by this funding will help improve the safety of the airport," said Josh Mickleborough, City Engineer and Airport Manager. "New approach lighting, signage and an extension to the taxiway will allow pilots to be more precise in their landings, and assist their movements on the taxiway and runway. These improvements may have been years out if it were not for this investment in the airport’s infrastructure."

The Yorkton Municipal Airport, as the regional transportation hub of East-Central Saskatchewan, is the second-busiest airport in southern Saskatchewan after Regina.

"This is good news for Yorkton," said Mayor Bob Maloney. "This significant funding helps us to move forward with much needed improvements to our airport infrastructure and will enhance our stature as the regional transportation hub of East-Central Saskatchewan."

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St. Norbert Community Park and Farmers’ Market gains ground

Photo of MP Bruinooge and Minister Yelich announcing support for community infrastructure at Le Marché St. Norbert Farmers’ Market in Winnipeg.

MP Bruinooge and Minister Yelich announce support for community infrastructure at Le Marché St. Norbert Farmers’ Market in Winnipeg.

Manitoba farmers and artisans who have been selling fresh produce, flowers, meat and other locally-crafted items at St. Norbert Farmers’ Market are welcoming a federal investment that will ensure their market continues to thrive well into the future.

With funding from the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund, improvements will be made to the market entry, park access, and pathways. In addition to landscaping, the seating will be replaced and the floor in the market area will be upgraded.

Minister Lynne Yelich and MP Rod Bruinooge made the announcement in January 2013.

"I am pleased to see Winnipeg benefit from our Government’s commitment to renew and improve community infrastructure," said Minister Yelich. "Our investment in the St. Norbert Community Park and Farmers’ Market will upgrade a tremendous local asset."

Federal funding for this project builds on contributions from the City of Winnipeg, community groups, and the St. Norbert Foundation.

A valuable contributor to the local economy, the market attracts more than 150,000 visitors during the season and is only part of a larger community space, which includes other facilities such as École Noël-Ritchot and the St. Norbert Community Centre.

These infrastructure improvements will enhance the experience for Farmers’ Market vendors and visitors, while creating economic opportunities for Winnipeg residents.

Altona Airport lands funding for runway repairs

Photo of Parliamentary Secretary Bergen making a CIIF funding announcement at Altona Municipal Airport. L-R: Don Wiebe, Reeve RM of Rhineland; Mel Klassen, Mayor Altona; Parliamentary Secretary Candice Bergen; Cliff Graydon, MLA

Parliamentary Secretary Bergen makes CIIF funding announcement at Altona Municipal Airport.

Thanks to federal funding, upgrades to the Altona Municipal Airport will improve safety and ensure the region retains its emergency air ambulance service.

The federal investment will go towards much needed repairs to the runway, such as removing weed growth, repairing surface cracks, and installing an asphalt overlay on the existing runway, taxiway and apron.

"Our Government is committed to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in our communities," said Parliamentary Secretary Candice Bergen. "Improvements to the runway will ensure safe and reliable access while helping to boost economic activity and maintain a high quality of life."

The upgrade will yield some other "on-the-ground" benefits as well.
The improvements will ensure a safer runway for users, while creating local jobs and economic opportunities.

R.M. of Rhineland Reeve Don Wiebe said he looks forward to the benefits this will bring to his community, and says the good news couldn’t have come at a better time.

"The runway was showing its age – it was deteriorating every year and this needed to be addressed," he said. "The Altona Airport gets a lot of use, from private planes to medical aircraft, and we believe with these repairs it will continue to bring in business for years to come."