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Warshick Says Time to Act for New Stadium, Commonwealth Games is Now
(Wednesday, December 12/2001)-- District 6 Councillor Brian Warshick today welcomed comments by Secretary of State for Amateur Sport, Denis Coderre, in The Globe and Mail this morning that Atlantic Canada is under served by sports infrastructure.
Councillor Warshick ((Waverley Road-Westphal) said " I have been saying for some time that we have no man-made facilities in our region, which can be used for world-class events or for training. It is long overdue."
The article stated that Mr. Coderre spoke recently with officials of the Canadian Football League about possible synergies between the CFL's desire for expansion and the government's plan to build sports infrastructure-based on regional need. Both Halifax and Quebec City have been mentioned prominently as possible sites for future stadiums.
Councillor Warshick said he was encouraged that preliminary talks have been held between the Minister and CFL Commissioner Michael Lysko regarding league expansion to the East, as well as the possibility of a national soccer franchise. Both would be full-time tenants of any new stadium.
The Globe and Mail article stated that Federal funds for a stadium would likely come from the government's Infrastructure Program, as in the case where Coderre contributed $4.3 million towards a $12 million project to refurbish Molson Stadium where the Montreal Alouettes play. However, Mr. Coderre said there must be the political will at the municipal and provincial government levels if a stadium was to become a reality.
Councillor Warshick said he was also encouraged that the federal Minister recently stated that Halifax Regional Municipality should prepare a bid to host the2010 Commonwealth Games, and called upon HRM to strike a committee to pursue this opportunity.
"The key to the Games, or either of the franchise teams, is the stadium," he said.
Councillor Warshick has long been promoting a large track of land at the top of Burnside as the site of a major new sports facility. It has ample room for parking, as well easy access to major highways-- "A key to any stadium's success, " he said.
In addition, a plan is already in place for water and sewer expansion to the area. The Councillor said he would like to see a retail component added to any new facility, which would help make it viable all year round.
Councillor Warshick added " This is most concrete and encouraging news we have heard from Ottawa in some time. Now is the time to act and to make a commitment. Let's really make HRM world- class."
Councillor Brian Warshick