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Ontario creating new funding to build and upgrade sports and recreation centres

DAN CEARNS The Standard

DURHAM/KAWARTHA LAKES: The Ontario provincial government is looking to help communities upgrade and create new sports facilities.

At a press conference on Thursday, April 18th, Ontario officials announced the government is investing $200 million over three years towards what will be known as the Community Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Fund. This new fund is part of the government’s 2024 budget.

“I know just how vital sport and recreation facilities and programs are to our youth in our communities as a whole. Sport brings people together, promotes healthy lifestyles and teaches teamwork and framework around sports, friendship and importantly self-discipline,” stated Neil Lumsden, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Premier Doug Ford said he is “a huge supporter of community centres.”

“Applicants will be able to apply for money to repair and upgrade aquatic centres, or hockey rinks, or use the funding to help build a new multi-sport recreational centre,” the Premier explained.

A press release stated there will be two streams offered for this fund. One is for “repairing and upgrading existing sport and recreation facilities into more accessible, state-of-the-art facilities which better suit the community’s needs.” The other is for “building new and transformative sport and recreation facilities, including replacing existing facilities which have reached the end of their lifespan and are beyond repair.”

The government will allow municipalities, Indigenous communities, and non-profit organizations to apply to this fund when it is launched. The eligibility criteria is expected to be announced later this year.

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