Canada's New Government delivers for Canadian athletes

    CALGARY, Oct. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of
Industry, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that Canada's New Government
will consider the Centre of Sport Excellence in Calgary, Alberta as a priority
for funding of up to one-third of eligible costs, to a maximum federal
contribution of $40 million, under Building Canada, the new long term
infrastructure plan of Canada's New Government.
    Minister Prentice was joined by Dave Rodney, MLA for Calgary-Lougheed and
Chair of the Calgary Caucus, Jim Younker, acting President and CEO of the
Calgary Olympic Development Association (CODA), and Bob Nicholson, President
of Hockey Canada.
    "As part of its Building Canada infrastructure plan, Canada's New
Government is investing in priority infrastructure projects that support a
growing economy, a cleaner environment, and stronger communities," said
Minister Prentice. "Major sport infrastructure projects, such as the Centre of
Sport Excellence, are an essential part of healthy Canadian cities and
communities and contribute to the physical well-being of Canadians and
excellence in sport. This project will provide an important national facility
benefiting athletes across Canada and internationally, while generating
important economic benefits for the region."
    Upgrading the legacy of facilities funded by the federal, provincial and
municipal governments for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, while adding new
ones, CODA's vision for the Centre of Sport Excellence was a plan launched in
2001 to make Canada the world-leading winter sport nation by 2010. The
made-in-Canada solution was developed after in-depth study of institutes built
by leading sport nations around the world including Australia, Europe and the
United States, which have resulted in increased athletic performance and
participation in those countries.
    The core new facility to be added to the Centre is an Athletic and Ice
Complex at Canada Olympic Park, which is the hub location of the planned
developments in southern Alberta. The Centre will provide the necessary
resources athletes need to train and win.
    Financial support is conditional on the initiative meeting all applicable
federal eligibility requirements under the Building Canada infrastructure
plan, successful negotiation of a framework agreement under the plan between
the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta, and the subsequent
negotiation and signing of a project funding agreement.
    "The Province of Alberta will work closely with the Government of Canada
to set the stage for excellence for athletes from our province and across the
country," said Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach. "Together, we will create winners
for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond."
    "This is an unprecedented day for sport in our country. Canadian athletes
just won more Olympic and Paralympic medals thanks to this generous, and
critically important financial contribution by the Government of Canada," said
Jim Younker, acting president, CODA. "This investment allows CODA to turn its
long-term vision into the facilities athletes need to be the best in the
world. Athletes for generations to come will thank the Government of Canada
for this funding, and we are so grateful for their support."
    The Athletic and Ice Complex will be the new permanent home to Hockey
Canada, which has outgrown its existing facilities. CODA, in partnership with
Hockey Canada, has designed this complex so it can be built in stages.
    "This great announcement ensures we will finally have a permanent home
where our national teams can train. It provides a competitive advantage which
will allow us to be the best in the world," said Bob Nicholson, president,
Hockey Canada. "The pursuit of excellence and medal performances at all levels
is a common goal in sport and the Centre of Sport Excellence gives Canadian
athletes access to world-leading training and programs."
    Friday's funding announcement by the Government of Canada, along with the
$69 million contribution by the Alberta government which was announced earlier
this year, kick-starts the project.
    Through its unprecedented $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure
plan, the Government of Canada will provide long-term, stable and predictable
funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada will
support a stronger, safer and better country. Over the last several months,
the Government of Canada has met with provinces, territories and the municipal
sector to discuss the Building Canada infrastructure plan with a view to
signing agreements and begin funding projects under the plan.

    CODA is a national leader in creating Canadian Olympic winter sport
excellence from the grassroots level to the country's best athletes. A
not-for-profit organization, CODA supports national sport organizations,
encourages educational opportunities and subsidizes the operation of unique
training and recreational facilities used by the nation's top athletes and the
general public For more information on CODA please visit us at on
the Internet.

For further information:

For further information: Deirdra McCracken, Press Secretary, Office of
the Industry Minister, (613) 995-9001; Karine White, Press Secretary, Office
of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, (613) 991-0700;
Infrastructure Canada, (613) 948-1148; Chris Dornan, Director of
Communications, Calgary Olympic Development Association, (403) 247-5423

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