St. James Church requests financial assistance from the Quebec government as quickly as possible

    Restoration work on this historic building put the Church and its
    partners in a precarious financial situation

    MONTREAL, March 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Representatives from the St. James
United Church are requesting financial assistance from the Quebec Government
as soon as possible so that it can quickly pay off the major cost overruns
resulting from the restoration work of this religious building, which is also
an important heritage site.
    According to a study conducted by the accounting firm, Ernst & Young, the
additional costs related to this work, which was completed in 2007, amounted
to more than $4.7 million. These excess costs were generated by major
unexpected problems which were beyond the control of the Church or the firm
L.M. Sauvé, the contractor responsible for the project. Despite the obstacles
they encountered, L.M. Sauvé and its partners, completed the Church
restoration work, but at a high cost.
    This work included the partial demolition of a commercial building in
order to give the Church back its magnificent façade on St. Catherine Street.
The project also included the full restoration of this facade, creating a
quality site on the street and the landscaping of a garden.
    "We would very much like the Quebec Government to make an extra
significant effort to quickly provide financial assistance to the Church and
its partners. The St. James United Church is a religious heritage jewel for
Montreal, Quebec and Canada, which benefits the whole community. As a result,
it seems natural to us that the government would now fully participate in the
restoration and come to our assistance during this very difficult financial
period," said Arlen Bonnar, Reverend of the St. James United Church.
    The expected total cost for the St. James Church restoration project was
$5.2 million to be jointly paid by the ministère des Affaires municipales, the
ministère de la Culture, L.M. Sauvé and the City of Montreal. This cost was to
be divided, respectively, in parts of $2.6 million, $800,000, $1.2 million and
    L.M. Sauvé and its partners did not hesitate to intensify their efforts
to complete the work under very difficult circumstances. They did so to the
detriment of their own financial situation as they were obliged to absorb
significant excess costs. "Today, we are calling on the Quebec Government to
show its solidarity with the exceptional work accomplished at the St. James
United Church and quickly release the additional funding required to erase the
major debts contracted by our partners in this project," added Rev. Bonnar.
    "Strong and continuing support from the Quebec Government towards the
 St. James United Church is essential to the future and preservation of this
building. We would like to express our appreciation for the support we have
received until now, but it is crucial that the support for the St. James
United Church continues to the end of the project. This will enable us to
adequately complete the work undertaken to highlight and preserve this
precious heritage site, which is part of our history," concluded Rev. Bonnar.

For further information:

For further information: Reverend Arlen Bonnar, (514) 288-9245; Source:
St. James United Church

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