Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/9/2009 (3803 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
On Monday, Mayor Sam Katz, provincial Infrastructure Minister Ron Lemieux and senior Manitoba MP Vic Toews announced $5.7 million for nine recreation across the province, including Winnipeg's Sinclair Park, Ralph Brown and Norquay community centres and the Transcona Nationals Football Club playing field.
Surrounded by dozens of children at Sinclair Park, which will receive the bulk of the city's $2.35-million contribution toward its four recreation projects, Katz, Lemieux and Toews touted the benefits of properly equipped facilities.
Sinclair Park was identified as a priority as early as 2005, when the city began disbursing $43 million in recreation funds that were diverted from a cancelled bus rapid-transit plan.
But the three other Winnipeg facilities — the latest in a slew of community centres and recreational amenities to receive funding for upgrades or expansions this summer — do not rank on a new Top 11 priority list compiled by the General Council of Winnipeg Community Centres, a volunteer-run organization created specifically to prevent politicians from getting involved in community centre funding decisions.
The list, which was the result of more than five years of research and deliberation, was approved by city council in May. The decisions were based on analysis that factored in population-growth patterns as well as the existing inventory of recreational space in communities.
The top priority on the list, the amalgamation of Sturgeon Creek and Silver Heights community centres, received $4.5 million from all three levels of government as part of a larger infrastructure announcement on Sept. 11.
The No. 2 priority, the expansion of Winakwa Community Centre, received $2.4 million of its own from all three levels of government in yet another announcement on June 29. That soothed southeast Winnipeg tempers after rival facility Southdale Community Centre — the No. 5 priority on the list and the subject of a 2007 NDP election campaign pledge — received $4 million from all three levels of government on June 12.
Community centres that were supposed to receive top consideration but still do not have funding commitments include Linden Woods (priority No. 3), Park City West (No. 4), Whyte Ridge (No. 6), Dakota (No. 7), Varsity View (No. 8), Weston Memorial (No. 9), Oxford Heights (No. 10) and East End (No. 11).
On Monday, Sinclair Park Community Centre received $1.9 million while Ralph Brown was granted $114,618, Norquay received $150,000 and the Transcona Nationals field was given $145,500. The five other projects are located in Pierson, the RM of Springfield, Garden Hill First Nation and Flin Flon. The province contributed $2.1 million to all nine projects, while Ottawa spent $783,000. Municipal governments paid the rest.
Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.