Sports sector included in provincial funding boost

Municipalities and non-profit groups in southwestern Ontario are getting a funding boost of $5.6 million to support sectors that may take the longest to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod was joined by Labour Minister Monte McNaughton and MPP Bob Bailey during a virtual news conference Thursday to announce the funding.

“Sports really are not just for the pursuit of individual and team accomplishments. Sports bring us together in competition and celebration,” said McNaughton. “That’s why it’s important that we not only support our arenas, boardwalks, and sports complexes from an operational standpoint but revive them to be there for our families for years to come.”

Funding will be allocated to support several projects such as repairs to the arena roof in Strathroy-Caradoc, the installation of accessible bleachers at the sports complex in Dawn Euphemia, the construction of a new multi-purpose sports facility in the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, and safety and accessibility improvements to the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority’s boardwalks.

McNaughton also said the funding will help buy new basketball nets for the Boys and Girls club of London, and allow for cricket, baseball, and rugby organizations in Windsor to update their facilities.

In Sarnia-Lambton, MPP Bailey said the latest funding will support repairs to a pool in Sarnia, and accessible washrooms in Enniskillen Township.

A funding breakdown for each area can be found in the list below.

Minister MacLeod noted that sectors ranging from sport to tourism were hit hard in March 2020 and will take the longest to recover.

“We have expected to see $20 billion in losses in these sectors over the past two years and that will take a very lengthy time to recover,” she said. “The question that is on our mind each and every time we discuss these losses and these challenges is, what does Ontario look like post-pandemic?”

Ontario’s Community Building Fund is administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. In total, the province will invest $105 million to support community arts and culture, heritage, tourism, sport, and recreation organizations. The Ontario government had promised to invest more than $400 million over the next three years to support the sectors listed above, as announced in the 2021 budget.

Grant amounts announced for southwestern Ontario:

Municipality of Chatham-Kent – $429,600

Municipality of Leamington – $325,100

Oneida Nation of the Thames – $494,700

Kettle Creek Conservation Authority – $71,700

Central Elgin – $425,000

Maidstone Recreation Centre – $62,000

Town of Essex – $76,600

Town of LaSalle – $398,200

Essex Region Conservation Authority – $161,800

Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc – $54,200

Township of Dawn Euphemia – $43,000

Chippewas of the Thames First Nation – $496,500

St. Clair Region Conservation Authority – $246,500

Boys & Girls Club of London – $84,600

Western Fair Association – $498,800

Township of Enniskillen – $218,800

Corporation of the City of Sarnia – $367,900

Township of St. Clair – $500,000

Rose City Athletic Organization – $35,000

Filipino Community Centre – $82,000

Cavaliers Cricket Club of Windsor – $23,900

Tecumseh Thunder Baseball Club – $72,800

Windsor Rogues Rugby Club – $500,000

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