Four major infrastructure projects in southern Alberta have gotten a green light thanks to funding from the provincial and federal governments through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).
More than $52.7 million will go towards projects in Lethbridge, Standoff, Medicine Hat and Calgary.
Federal Minister for Rural Economic Development Maryam Monsef announced the University of Lethbridge will be receiving a renovated space for Indigenous elders and student counsellors. The space will also feature an Indigenous gathering area for talking circles, celebrations and other events, complete with a new smudging system.
“We created the Iikaisskini gathering space in 2014, we put it in temporary space, close to our residences, but we always knew we wanted this space to be more central, in the middle of campus,” said Mike Mahon, president of the University of Lethbridge.
For the community of Standoff, funding will go toward rebuilding the main campus of the Red Crow Community College which was destroyed in a 2015 fire. The new building will include classrooms, workshops, labs, academic and counselling spaces for students, as well as a library, cafeteria and daycare.
Medicine Hat College will receive money for renovations of existing space.
Funding is also being allotted for a French community-based project in Calgary. Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna is planning to be in Calgary next week to deliver more information on that project.
Alberta Minister of Infrastructure Prasad Panda said these projects will create about 300 construction jobs.
“Mainly skilled trades, the carpenters, fitters, welders… also the consultants, engineering consultants, architects,” Panda said.
The government of Canada is investing about $22 million in these projects, the government of Alberta is providing $125,000, while the funding applicants will contribute the remaining $30.7 million.
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