By Cassie MacDonell
Local Journalism Initiative
On May 6, Quebec Premier François Legault announced plans to build a $35-million arena in Magog. The arena will boast two regulation skating rinks, locker rooms, bleachers, service and storage rooms, and a parking lot. Construction is expected to begin in 2023, and should be completed in time for the 2024-2025 winter season. Brome Missisquoi MP and Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Pascale St-Onge, alongside Brome-Missisquoi MNA Isabelle Charest, Minister of Education and Minister responsible for the status of women in Quebec, were also present to make the announcement.
Legault explained that the arena will provide numerous benefits and get people of all ages to gather and be active. He also explained that sports should be promoted in Quebec, especially hockey, which he described as the national sport.
The provincial and federal government will each provide $9.1-million to cover the cost of the arena, while the city of Magog and the MRC will contribute $9.5-million. The remainder will be borrowed and repaid with revenues generated by arena rentals.
The provincial and federal government will use funds from the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (PIIC), as well as the Programme d’aide financière aux infrastructures récréatives et sportives (PAFIRS).
In the past, the project was denied twice by Quebec and Ottawa. When asked about this, Legault explained that the project was now possible due to the extra money in PAFIRS allowing them to accept more projects.
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