Donaldson congratulates the Hazeltons after funding announcement for the Upper Skeena Rec Centre

October 26, 2016 (HAZELTON, B.C.)  – Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson acknowledged the tremendous local effort and work at all levels of government in congratulating the people of the Hazeltons following the announcement today of provincial and federal government funding for the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre. 

“More than four decades ago the Ken Trombley Memorial Arena was built with an amazing display of volunteer spirit and common purpose. Four decades from now people will look back on this day and will see that the same sense of communities pulling together, and people working towards a common goal, resulted in the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre becoming a reality,” Donaldson said.

The announcement in Hazelton today committed provincial and federal government funds of $12 million to build a new recreation centre to replace the ice arena that was finally condemned in 2015 after an engineer’s report found it to be structurally unsafe.  Local fundraising contributions of more than $3 million round out the $15 million project. 

“It was a concerted, united effort by community members that was also supported in the legislature in Victoria where I was able to keep the topic at the forefront of the government’s agenda for the last seven years,” Donaldson said. “We also had visits to the old facility by current Official Opposition leader John Horgan and former leader Carole James, so the level of understanding about the need for the new facility was high and well recognized.”

Donaldson also thanked the Minister for Transportation and Highways for his support of the proposal and the efforts of staff in that Ministry to really get behind the project.  The Stikine MLA also noted that reinvesting in rural communities is something that benefits everyone in the province.

“This provinces depends on the rural economy. And that economy is dependent on healthy, vibrant communities. You cannot continually withdraw resources from areas like Stikine and not reinvest, otherwise local communities and the provincial economy suffer. Today is a great reinvestment that will pay dividends for the province. Rural areas in BC deserve this attention more often.”