Outrage over loss of recreation centre funding
Published Saturday, November 26, 2011 11:07AM MST
Mayor Naheed Nenshi is demanding answers after the federal government sent a letter that suddenly pulled funding from four new recreation centres planned for Calgary.
Nenshi says that Calgarians can no longer count on Ottawa and they will now be without the facilities that they need.
The plan was for three facilities in southeast Calgary and one in the northwest.
The total cost was to reach $82 to $100M, with the federal government needing to cover one quarter of the costs.
The city has already paid $3.1M for the project.
Community groups are struck with a mixture of anger, disappointment, and frustration with the news.
"The aging facilities that we have, have to be replaced, but also with the growth of Calgary we are so far behind in actually providing facilities for people," says Tim Bjornson of Sports Calgary.
Paul Sinclair, the chairperson of the N.W. Community Advisory Group says the news is a ‘slap in the face'.
"When I was advised of this press release, I was coming down here thinking it was going to be very positive."
Families are not at all pleased with the sudden news either, saying that the current facilities are too busy and too small to service the 300,000 Calgarians who live in the southeast.
Now, Calgary city council is urging all Calgarians to call and email MPs while they scramble to work out a plan B to cover the projects.
Nenshi feels that the government is taking Calgary for granted and the majority government was made here, not in Quebec where all the effort was made in the last election.