Government of Canada commits up to $50 million for Ottawa Congress Centre expansion

    OTTAWA, Nov. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable John Baird, Minister of the
Environment, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, together with Royal Galipeau,
Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans, today announced that the Government
of Canada has identified the expansion of the Ottawa Congress Centre as a
priority for funding consideration under its new Building Canada
infrastructure plan.
    The contribution from Building Canada would be a maximum of one-third of
eligible costs, up to a maximum of $50 million. This is an increase of
$20 million from the original commitment of $30 million made by the Government
of Canada towards the project.
    "The Ottawa Congress Centre is an essential part of the cultural
experience in the National Capital Region and our Government is here today to
reaffirm our commitment to its growth," said Minister Baird. "As a priority
under Building Canada, the expansion of the Ottawa Congress Centre will help
promote Ottawa as a world-class convention destination while increasing
tourism, business and job opportunities in the region."
    The Ottawa Congress Centre is planning to expand to more than
200,000 square feet, which would make it the fourth largest convention centre
in Canada. The total cost of the expansion is estimated at $159 million.
    Federal financial support for the expansion of the Ottawa Congress Centre
is conditional on the initiative meeting all applicable federal eligibility
requirements under the Building Canada infrastructure plan, successful
negotiations with the Province of Ontario of a Framework Agreement under
Building Canada, as well as confirmation of municipal approval and
participation from other partners for the balance of the funding required. The
Ottawa Congress Centre will need to put in place a detailed business plan for
the expansion, obtain any necessary approvals and secure the full financing
required to access federal funding for the project.
    On November 6, 2007, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister
of Canada, officially launched Building Canada. 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 supports a stronger, safer and better

For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, (613) 991-0700; Eric
Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of the Environment, (819)
997-1441; Infrastructure Canada, (613) 948-1148; For further information on
the Building Canada plan, visit

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