'Banking' on development
Partnerships | $1.5M for Fredericton sports facilities
By Heather McLaughlin
Published in the Daily Gleaner on Friday January 14, 2011
Appeared on page A1
Scotiabank has made a $1.5-million donation to the City of
Fredericton's sports facilities.
Mayor Brad Woodside and bank representatives jointly announced the
funding Thursday night at the state of the city address.
It's the largest contribution Scotiabank has made in Atlantic Canada,
"That is partnership, my friends. That is partnership,"
Peter Bessey, senior vice-president, Atlantic Region Scotiabank,
joined Woodside on stage to announce the bank's contribution to
Scotiabank Park North and Scotiabank Park South.
The bank's contribution will support a new artificial turf sports
field next to Willie O'Ree Place. Both the northside arena and the
soon-to-be-built Grant-Harvey facility have auxiliary sport and
recreation facilities adjoining them.
The mayor said he'll be meeting today with Tennis Canada
representatives to talk about the proposed six-court indoor tennis
facility to be integrated with the Grant-Harvey centre, sharing its
geothermal heating system.
"Both the north and southside clusters will have the critical
mass of things that people can do to feel better and come to wellness,
which is so important to the well-being and quality of life," he
"Scotiabank for many years has been very actively involved in
recreational pursuits," Bessey said. "One of our key mottoes
is being caring community bankers ... There's no question that
recreation is top of mind from a health perspective and from an
enjoyment perspective. It's great for children and it's great for
families and that's where we want to be.
"I know that the people of Fredericton will be able to enjoy
these facilities for many years to come," Bessey said. "It's a
natural fit for us to support these important sports and recreational
hubs - which include tremendous public access - that's very important
The city's most pressing need is for a new sports field. Fredericton
set aside $840,000 toward that project in its 2011 budget.
Woodside said when he was asked last year at a Christmas function by
a senior Scotiabank representative about the city's needs and how the
bank could help, he was quick to head to Toronto with a wish list for a
second sports field for the city.
A new artificial turf field has already been completed close to the
"The City of Fredericton is truly blessed to have great
partners," Woodside said.
"When we do something, everybody is at the table, everybody
appreciates how important it is. Everybody gets it. That's something
that's special about this community that we never, ever want to
Woodside said partnerships with government and the private sector
will be the way to move forward in the city.
Woodside also announced a couple of other firsts at the event.
Fredericton has hit a record-breaking year with $168 million in
construction and redevelopment.
This is the fifth straight year the city has experienced more than
$100 million in construction and renovation of building stock.
The city has also achieved a so-called Milestone 5 for its work to
reduce corporate greenhouse gas emissions. That makes the capital city
only the fourth municipality in Canada and the first east of British
Columbia to achieve the highest certification possible for its efforts
to reduce greenhouse gas levels.
The city's efforts are measured under the partners for climate
protection program administered by the Federation of Canadian
Woodside said the city will also be engaging the community in the
coming months with a new sustainability by design initiative.
Woodside said with the Hilton Hotel moving closer toward
construction, it's time for the city to look to its downtown west end
and find ways to tie it into the mix with redevelopment.
The first banquet at the Fredericton Convention Centre, hosted by the
Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, attracted 518 business and community
leaders eager for their first glimpse of how their tax dollars were
While there's still finishing work to be done, the entrance and
staircase to the second floor convention centre ballroom were completed,
giving the capital city its first twinned escalators since the former
Levine's department store closed and Zellers relocated from the downtown
to a one-level store on Prospect Street.
"As mayor, for a long, long time, I get calls from all over the
country, all over the world from people interested in coming to this
beautiful city to do business. So they have some basic questions.
"I've never been able to say this. It's not about the fresh air,
the beautiful river, it's not about the walking trails. They always ask
about the escalators.
"You have no idea how tough it has been to promote this city and
call ourselves a smart city when I have to go out and tell people we
don't have an escalator," Woodside said.
The mayor thanked federal-provincial partners, convention centre
project manager Greg Cook, ADI Ltd., which was the general contractor
and project designer, for their contributions to the convention centre
Scotiabank has 42 branches in New Brunswick. Four of them are in
Fredericton. It's been in business for 128 years in the province.