Hazelton Arena Project Receives $12,000,000 Contribution from Ottawa, Victoria

Some big news for the Hazeltons this morning.

The federal and provincial governments have come up with nearly 12 million dollars, for the construction of a new arena.

Hundreds of people turned out to hear BC Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone announce the province was spending $4,000,000 --- and that Ottawa was contributing 7.9-million. 

The federal contribution consists of up to $1,875,788 from the Major Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund and $6,000,000 from the federal Gas Tax Fund.

A construction tender will go out this winter, with shovels expected in the ground by early next spring.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen, speaking from Ottawa, says this is terrific news, noting the local fundraising group, known as "Heart of the Hazeltons", has already raised four million dollars, "and this committee has brought together all of the different first nations in the area, non first nations, resource companies -- they've just done an exceptional job of working in very difficult circumstances to bring about this announcement today -- I congratulate the governments for stepping in and stepping up with significant support because our small communities just don't have the taxbase to do this alone."

The Hazeltons have been without an indoor ice surface since the 44-year-old Ken Trombley Memorial Arena was condemned last year, and its roof was removed.

[Reported by Tyson Fedor and John Crawford]