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Speeches

Funding Announcement for Saskatoon Prairieland Park Corporation’s Main Foyer and Marquis Downs Grandstand Under the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF)

April 10, 2013
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Notes for an address by

The Honourable Lynne Yelich
Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

Funding Announcement

Corresponding Documents: News Release | Photo Gallery

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Thank you. Good afternoon.Bonjour. It is my pleasure to be here today in Saskatoon at Prairieland Park. I am proud to be part of this celebration, one of great importance for our community.

Our Government has been playing an important role in driving economic development since well before 2009, when the world's economy took a turn for the worse. Today, Canada boasts the strongest rate of employment growth among G-7 countries. This comes as a result of our Government's solid economic fundamentals and the timely support of Canada's Economic Action Plan.

Our Government is proud to stand with organizations such as Prairieland, which play an important role in supporting our communities. It's why our Government remains focused on delivering strategic community and economic development programs that have a long-lasting, positive impact on our residents. Facilities such as Prairieland Park bring families and friends together and enhance the quality of life in our communities.

The Harper Government has made infrastructure improvements a key part of our plan to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians. That is why, as part of Economic Action Plan 2012, our Government announced the creation of the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund, more commonly known as CIIF. CIIF provides $150 million in funding over two years to support repairs and improvements to existing community facilities. I am delighted to see that the Fund is being met with enthusiasm across our great country.

Community facilities provide places for families, friends, and community organizations to gather together, and by helping to improve them we are contributing to united and prosperous communities for years to come. Here in Saskatoon, Prairieland Park contributes to our sense of community. It is utilized by almost every resident in the city and surrounding area for recreational, cultural and other purposes. Indeed, thousands of people come here annually for trade shows, agricultural events, horse racing, school programs and garden and recreational events as well as other special events like weddings and fundraisers.

There is, however, room to improve this important facility, and so I am pleased to announce that more than $340,000 will be invested in two projects here at Prairieland Park under the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund. Under the first project, the main foyer will be renovated, making it safer and enhancing its energy efficiency. The second project includes renovations to the washrooms, flooring, and the mechanical and electrical systems at the grandstand at Marquis Downs. These investments will serve to enhance the experience and services provided by Prairieland Park and Marquis Downs, and will support the creation of jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity for Saskatoon.

This funding also builds on our Government's previous investment to restore halls A and B under the Economic Action Plan in 2009. Modernizing and upgrading these two facilities will assist Prairieland Park in attracting more events and to the facility. I look forward to seeing the result of these investments and the benefits that will surely come with it.

Ladies and gentlemen, as you know, we successfully completed the Recreational Infrastructure Canada program, the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, and the Building Canada Fund – Communities Component top-up. The seven-year, $33-billion Building Canada plan, introduced in Budget 2007, was Canada's first-ever long-term infrastructure plan. The Building Canada plan will continue to deliver results for communities until 2014 and beyond.

Moving forward, as announced in Economic Action Plan 2013, the new Building Canada Plan is the largest long-term federal commitment to Canadian infrastructure in our nation's history. This program will deliver $53 billion across the country over the next 10 years, and is divided into three components:

  • The Community Improvement Fund, which will support projects such as roads, public transit and recreational facilities;
  • The Building Canada Fund, which will provide support to major projects across the country; and
  • The P3 Canada Fund, which will continue to support innovative ways to build infrastructure projects faster and at a lower cost.

It is important that all levels of government continue to work together with our communities to come up with innovative solutions that allow us to preserve and further build our infrastructure. Engaging all our partners is, in our view, the key to our collective success. We look forward to celebrating the progress made in the hundreds of projects that are underway across the country — projects that are strengthening our communities and making our country an even better place to live, work and play. By continuing to promote new economic opportunities, WD is helping to create jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity.

In closing, I wish to acknowledge all those community leaders who helped make this project happen. Thanks to your imagination, hard work and commitment, you are helping ensure a bright and prosperous future for Saskatoon and all of Saskatchewan. Together, we are building a stronger West for a stronger Canada.

Thank you. Merci.