HAZELTON, BRITISH COLUMBIA – April 16, 2014 – The Upper Skeena Recreation Centre Owners Group today announced that TransCanada will contribute $1 million towards construction and program support for the proposed Upper Skeena Recreation Centre (USRC), to be built in Hazelton, B.C. The Centre is part of a larger strategy, known as the Heart of the Hazeltons, to address the health and well-being of the region’s residents.
TransCanada’s contribution will be spread over the next 10 years, and used for a combination of pre-capital planning, campaign management costs, construction of the USRC, and program support through to 2025. The funding will come from the company’s Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project, an almost 900 kilometre natural gas pipeline that will support B.C.’s emerging liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry by transporting gas from near Hudson’s Hope to the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG export facility in the District of Port Edward. The proposed pipeline would pass north of Hazelton.
“We are extremely grateful to TransCanada and its Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project for their sponsorship of the USRC,” said Dr. Peter Newbery, Chair, Heart of the Hazeltons. “Their financial contribution will help address the health and well-being of this region’s residents, with a particular focus on our large youth population. The new Centre will include programs and services for all ages, all sporting and cultural interests, and serve as a gathering place. It opens up possibilities for exciting new educational and health care programs to better serve our whole community.”
“Our sponsorship of the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre is really an investment in the future of the community and its people,” said Alex Pourbaix, Executive Vice-President & President, Development for TransCanada. “We strongly believe that we should have an active role in the communities in which we work and live. Prince Rupert Gas Transmission’s 10-year financial commitment clearly shows that our support is a long-term investment toward the well-being and success of the region. I am impressed by the work done so far on this initiative. It represents a clear vision for the prosperity, growth and hope for the future. ”
The construction of the USRC will cost approximately $10 million with financial support from the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, the Village of Hazelton and the District of New Hazelton. In addition, the Gitxsan Government Commission has donated $50,000 and the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs have committed more than $350,000 towards the bridging of the operation of the present arena and support for the design of the new Centre. Together the organizations represented on the Owner’s Committee have committed $1.5 million to the project – evidence of remarkable local dedication to this vision. The federal and B.C. Governments have also been approached for funding. As well, further financial support is being sought from industry, foundations and community sources.
The Centre will be built adjacent to the existing ice arena, which is close to the local high school, a campus of Northwest Community College, and Wrinch Memorial Hospital. The Centre will be owned by the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, and operated by the local and Gitxsan governments and the Skeena Ice Arena Society, which operates the ice arena. Construction will begin as soon as funds are in place, with a targeted completion date of late Fall, 2015. For more information, see www.heartofthehazeltons.ca.