Tbnewswatch Local News
2014-03-25 at 1:20AM

Not happening

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

The city won't be going ahead with a youth centre as it planned.

Council had committed in principle to an $8.1 million partnership with the Indian Friendship Centre to turn the former Port Arthur Prosvita into a new home for the IFC and a youth centre. While the city backed that with $2.5 million, the federal and provincial governments weren't willing to match. That's what it boiled down to city clerk John Hannam, who's also responsible for the Aboriginal Liason Office, said.

"We weren't able to secure sufficient funds to do that," he said after the city made the announcement early Tuesday.

The city had a $57,000 hold on the High Street building until the end of the month in order to keep up operating costs while the city tracked down funding. The money will be lost.

"That was a risk that we knew going out there," Hannam said.

Mayor Keith Hobbs said the city had discussions with federal and provincial ministers, put a proposal together and even had dollar figures to show but it wasn't enough.

"We did our homework on it," he said. "We made an honest effort and the funding's just not there."

The partnership with the IFC is still in place. As for the youth centre, a report will come to council Apr. 7 to start discussing options.

Hobbs said a youth centre is a priority for the city. Whether that means using community centres, breaking ground on a new building or even funding existing organizations like the Boys and Girls Club. He wants to see a plan before this term of council is up.

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