Dionne wants long-term recreation planning

By Andrew de Souza
October 20, 2012 - 8:31am Updated: October 20, 2012 - 9:08am

Mayoral candidate Greg Dionne was outside of the Art Hauser Centre on Friday campaigning on a platform to work with local sports groups to get them what they need.

“I’m handing out little flyers to all the Raiders fans notifying them that if elected mayor, I’m going to reach out to the Raiders as part of my ten-year plan,” he said. “But I’m also going to reach out to the Mintos and the other groups in our community because one thing we’re lacking is a ten-year facility plan.”

Dionne said the current city administration has no long-term planning for groups such as the Raiders and something needs to be done.

“We have a strategic plan, but we don’t have a short-term or a long-term plan especially when it comes to our facilities,” he said.

Dionne hinted plans could include new facilities if that’s what various groups wanted.

He pointed to the Alfred Jenkins Field House as an example of a facility created without long-term needs in mind. He said that while he supported it generally, it should have been built to be more inclusive for the community and allow for more types of recreation.

Now, he said, taxpayers were footing a large bill and yet their needs still weren’t being met.

“I want to see what the demands on our community is going to be in ten years and then council can get together and so ok, what are our priorities?” he said.

According Dean Link, who is also running for mayor, there are a few other priorities such as infrastructure. 

"There is only so much money to go around. Although sporting facilities, and indeed the Raiders, are extremely important to the well-being of the community, everything must be prioritized in a neccessary and justafiable manner," Link said.

"The public is demanding that our underground work, our roadways and bridge structures must come first."

Mayor Jim Scarrow, who is running for a third term said he was instead attending the innaugural Canadian Tire Cup.

Scarrow said funding recreation facilities was also on his priority list and that he "had already spoken to the Raider Hockey Club about the need for a larger facility in April and June of this year," he wrote wrote in an email.

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On Twitter: @drewdesouza

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