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Recreational Infrastructure Projects Benefit Ontario

By Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP, Oak Ridges-Markham

Recreational facilities are a vital part of Ontario’s fabric, and enrich our lives and our children’s lives in many ways.

Our government is committed to supporting these public spaces so that they may be enjoyed for generations to come.

I recently had the opportunity to announce a joint federal and provincial investment for Markham, Richmond Hill and Whitchurch-Stouffville. The funding will help make the following projects possible:

Markham $5,541,548,

-The construction of a natural ice surface in the Markham Civic Centre’s amphitheatre
-The replacement of an existing soccer field with an artificial field, along with the addition of a bubble structure to cover the new turf
-The installation of a bubble-dome over 4 newly constructed tennis courts at the Angus Glen Community Centre
-The Canadian Chinese Table Tennis Association will benefit from a renovation that will double the capacity of the existing facility, as well as improve the facility’s energy efficiency.

Richmond Hill $4,680,600,

-Rehabilitation of Bond Lake Arena
-Renewal of the Richmond Green Soccer Field, the Crosby Park soccer field and tennis courts
-The replacement of the Dorothy Price Park Play Structure and Pathway and the Shaun Beegs Park Play Structure.

Whitchurch-Stouffville $1,492,332,

-Improvements to accessibility and energy efficiency for the Stouffville Arena
-Refurbishment of the Arena soccer fields
-Improvements to the Memorial Park baseball diamond.

This funding will help to build a healthier and stronger community by bringing residents together, whether as participants or as spectators.

Across the province, investments like this were made possible through the joint efforts of the Government of Canada’s Recreational Infrastructure Canada program and the province’s Ontario Recreation Program along with the resources of the many community organizations that have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of Ontarians each and everyday.

Working together across ministries and across all levels of government is the key to providing the infrastructure projects that all Canadians need.

A 2007 review conducted by Parks and Recreation Ontario reported that 30 to 50 per cent of Ontario’s community centres, pools and arenas are approaching the end of their useful life.

Our joint federal provincial efforts to ensure adequate facilities for sport and recreation are central, not only to improving rates of physical activity, but ultimately to improving health.

Participation in sport, physical activity and recreation provide so many benefits – to our physical, economic and social well-being.

On the economic front, the benefits of this project are far-reaching to our community.

They’ll boost Markham, Richmond Hill, Whitchurch-Stouffville and the surrounding region’s economy and create much-needed jobs – jobs that will help to address some of the challenges Ontario is facing in these difficult economic times.

This investment in our recreational facilities is part of a broader commitment to stimulate Ontario’s economy through unprecedented and targeted infrastructure spending.

The McGuinty government has committed to investing $195 million to upgrade Ontario’s recreation facilities as part of our 2009 budget commitment to spend $32.5 billion in infrastructure over the next two years.

These investments will help to create and sustain an estimated 146,000 jobs in 2009-2010 and 168,000 in 2010-2011.

Along with creating jobs the McGuinty government is taking several other steps to strengthen Ontario’s economy. The tax reforms that will take effect July 1, 2010 are the single most important thing we can do to strengthen our economy.

These reforms are the right thing at the right time for Ontario’s families and businesses, and will allow us to keep investing in projects like this one.

A sport and recreation facility is much more than bricks and mortar. Sport and recreation facilities are community hubs, where people of all ages can become engaged in their community, explore their leadership potential, and maybe even discover an athletic talent.

 


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