(except from House proceedings scripts)
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: My question is to the Minister of Infrastructure. On December 1 of last year the minister and I visited an infrastructure stimulus project in my riding in Cobourg, the Cobourg Community Centre, or the CCC as we like to call it. This is an extraordinarily exciting project. The CCC will have a 2,000-plus-seat arena plus a smaller 400-seat arena. There will also be two gyms and change rooms and 1,000 square feet dedicated for a youth centre and three multi-purpose meeting rooms.
The CCC is on track for a grand opening this spring. However, Cobourg council still applied for an extension to the March 31, 2011, deadline to make sure that the workers have time to get the finishing touches done. My question to the minister is, will the deadline extension be granted?
Hon. Bob Chiarelli: I’d like to thank the member for the question. First, I’d like to congratulate the people of Cobourg for coming together to create this project in partnership with the federal and provincial governments and for becoming part of the largest and most successful infrastructure program in the history of the province of Ontario. Born out of the worst recession since the Great Depression, stimulus is creating 700 jobs in the Northumberland area and 300,000 across Ontario for Ontario families. Indeed, Ontario has recovered 95% of the jobs lost during the recession, compared to only 11% in the US. The federal and provincial governments have worked together to create over 9,500 projects to improve our quality of life and to improve the economy of Ontario
I’ll deal with the deadline in the supplementary.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Minister, your comments about the community coming together are exactly right. In the case of the Cobourg Community Centre project, that’s happening in all sorts of ways. For example, with the help of Alice Vander Vennen, one of our local artists, members of the community are working together to help design 100 brightly coloured fish that will become a giant floating sculpture for the great hall entrance to the community centre. Plus, we’re not relying on just federal and provincial funds for this project. The local community is raising more than $3 million to put toward the capital costs
Again, Minister: Will the extension request for this project be approved?
Hon. Bob Chiarelli: Again, congratulations to the residents of Cobourg, a town of only 19,000, for raising $3 million towards this project. In general, we expect to approve almost every one of the extension applications we received.