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March 24, 2006

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Canada Celebrates Saskatchewan Funding Announcement

Good morning. Welcome, everyone. I’m glad to bring greetings on behalf of the Government of Canada. More importantly, I’m pleased to be among friends and neighbours.  I’m here to announce the Government of Canada’s investments in Saskatoon through the Canada Celebrates Saskatchewan Centennial initiative. This is an exciting and very anticipated day. 

 

The Request for Proposals and evaluation process that began last November has concluded.  After receiving 19 different proposals for Canada Celebrates Saskatchewan funding, my department, Western Economic Diversification Canada, has selected four projects. They will leave a visible legacy honouring Saskatchewan’s centennial.

 

I am proud to announce funding for the following four projects:

  • Saskatoon Prairieland Park will receive $4 million to add a 50,000 square foot expansion. This complements the 160,000 square feet of existing trade show and exhibit space. The new building would be constructed on the site of the former Jubilee Building.

  • The City of Saskatoon will receive $3 million to develop Riverfront Park at the River Landing site. The City plans to construct a pavilion building, interpretation opportunities, and a unique children's water play feature. I can’t wait to see the transformation.

  • Persephone Theatre will receive $2.5 million to build a new facility. The new building will house a 450-seat theatre facility and a second stage with a capacity of 200 people. 

  • Wanuskewin Heritage Park will receive $1 million to support the renewal of public spaces in its interpretive centre.

Western Economic Diversification used a rating guide to evaluate each of the projects and how they measured against key criteria.

These four projects were selected because they will have positive historic, cultural and economic impact on Saskatoon.  They were selected because they will reach a wide range of Saskatoon and Saskatchewan residents. Visitors to our fine city will also enjoy the changes. 

 

Just as importantly, the selection process emphasized firm financial footing and solid business plans for future years. Like our new government, it emphasizes accountability.  Knowing this, we are confident that these four excellent projects will provide lasting benefits to residents in every part of the city. This includes my riding of Sakatoon-Rosetown-Biggar.

 

This announcement marks the last major funding commitment from the Canada Celebrates Saskatchewan initiative, which reached residents in every part of the province.

 

I guess we saved the best until last.

 

Canada Celebrates Saskatchewan celebrates Saskatchewan’s 100th birthday with projects that leave their mark well into the province’s next century.  The centennial initiative did this by providing over $24 million to more than 714 community legacy projects.  These projects are intended to reach beyond infrastructure by making real heritage and cultural contributions to Saskatchewan communities.  For instance, Canada Celebrates Saskatchewan provided funding for Big River First Nation to upgrade its community centre. The Town of La Ronge used centennial funding to renew its parks. And the City of Moose Jaw used its funding to enhance the Trans-Canada Trail.  These are only a small sample from the very long list of meaningful community improvements that were made through this program. I sincerely thank all those who put so much time and effort into their applications.

 

The imagination, effort and enthusiasm that people put into each and every one of the submissions demonstrates the spirit for which Saskatoon residents are famous and the exciting future that Saskatoon has before it.  The Government of Canada is grateful to have helped communities take ideas that were once only dreams recorded in town council minutes and see them materialize in curling rinks, skateboard parks and new libraries.

 

It’s been a privilege to build on the shared achievements of Canadians —past and present — through these exciting legacy projects.  With that, I wish Prairieland, the City of Saskatoon, Persephone Theatre and Wanuskewin all of the best as they move forward with planning and construction.  I also want to congratulate the City of Saskatoon on reaching 100 years. Developing Riverfront Park and encouraging these other centennial projects is certainly a great start to your next 100 years.

 

Thank you.

 

 
  Contact Information

 

Saskatoon Office
904E 22nd Street West
Saskatoon, SK S7M 0S1
TOLL FREE: 1-888-590-6555
Tel: (306) 975-6555
Fax: (306) 975-5786
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Satellite Office: Biggar
117-3rd Ave. West
(New Horizons Center)
Tel: (306) 948-2446
Fax: (306) 948-3770
Mon., 9-Noon and
Wed., 9-Noon & 1-4pm

Satellite Office: Rosetown
216 Main Street
Tel/Fax: (306) 882-6447
Mon., Wed., Fri. - 9-Noon

Parliament Hill Office
356 Confederation Building
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6
Tel: (613) 995-1551
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