ALBERTA NDP ANNOUNCES “HOMETOWN ALBERTA,”
FUNDING FOR NEW HOCKEY RINKS, BETTER COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE
LETHBRIDGE – The Alberta NDP is announcing Hometown Alberta: a new program to build and improve local community facilities — including hockey rinks — in every corner of the province.
The Hometown Alberta program will create 1,500 jobs over three years and build stronger communities by supporting municipalities and non-profits to build, repair, renovate, upgrade or expand local community facilities, including sports, recreational, religious, cultural and other public-use spaces.
“This program will help us literally build a better future for Alberta families,” said Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley. “Every one of us has a hometown and we can always make it better. One of the best ways we can do that is to support local gathering places that bring us together as friends and neighbours.
“Under Hometown Alberta, we will see hundreds of new community projects in every corner of the province, creating good jobs and building communities.”
Hometown Alberta would both replace and improve upon the current Community Facility Enhancement Program, by increasing grant funding by 50 per cent to $75 million annually and adding a new $100-million annual capital investment funding stream designed to advance construction through partnerships.
“Under Hometown Alberta, the province would support everything from building new hockey rinks to expanding the local Expo grounds to improvements at Native Friendship Centres across southern Alberta,” said Shannon Phillips, Alberta NDP candidate for Lethbridge-West. “It means better soccer fields and nicer community halls.”
In Lethbridge, Hometown Alberta could mean upgrades to multiple seniors centres and pave the way for a new Civic Centre, said Lethbridge-East candidate Rob Miyashiro, but also provides an opportunity to continue with the twinning of the Logan Boulet Arena.
“This has been an important project for the City of Lethbridge and for all of us,” said Miyashiro, a former city councillor. “This is a worthwhile project that will increase our ability to host major sports tournaments in southern Alberta, increasing economic activity in the city.”
Logan Boulet’s father, Toby Boulet, said the impact on young athletes is profound.
“As a former coach and teacher, I know how important it is for our kids to be able to practice sports and grow those skills in our communities. It’s what helps them grow and succeed as people,” said Boulet.
“This arena is part of Logan’s legacy, as is the continued rise of organ donation and our shared love of sport in this province, both of which only have room to grow in the years to come.”
Every year, on Green Shirt Day, Toby and Bernadine Boulet spread the message of organ donation and registry. Logan Boulet died in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
After four years of cuts, municipalities and non-profits across Alberta have been forced to make tough decisions, putting off or passing up on projects and facility improvements.
Hometown Alberta would build or improve community infrastructure such as:
Recreation centres and sports complexes.
Museums, arts and culture centres.
Places of worship.