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 December 04, 2002
Canada, B.C. To Provide $500M For Convention Centre

 Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, with Allan Rock, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for Infrastructure, Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources Canada and Minister Responsible for British Columbia, and British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell December 4 confirmed their respective governments' contributions to the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre project. "The Governments of Canada and British Columbia have agreed that the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre is their top joint infrastructure priority in this province," said Prime Minister Chrétien. "The Vancouver Convention Centre expansion shows what we can accomplish with strong cooperation between our two governments. This project will have positive impacts on tourism and the local economy, but will also contribute to the long term economic growth of British Columbia."

"We are very appreciative of Canada?s contribution to economic development in British Columbia through this important project," said Premier Campbell. "A good working partnership between our governments will ensure that British Columbia continues its economic growth, and we look forward to continued partnership with Canada on future investments throughout our province."

The Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre project includes the construction of new facilities on the Burrard Landing Site, west of Canada Place; the renovation of existing leased facilities within Canada Place; and the linking of the two sites to form an integrated convention and exhibition centre.

The project is targeted at $495 million. The tourism sector will contribute $90 million. The federal and provincial governments will contribute the remainder, on a matching, cost-shared basis. The federal contribution will be made through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund. Prime Minister Chrétien and Premier Campbell also announced that their governments would sign a formal agreement confirming this commitment within the next six months. Through the $2-billion Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, the Government of Canada is working with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, as well as with the private sector, to respond to strategic infrastructure needs throughout the country. These investments are directed to large-scale projects of major national and regional significance, in areas that are vital to sustaining economic growth and supporting an enhanced quality of life for Canadians.

Working with provinces and municipalities, the Government of Canada committed in the last Speech from the Throne to put in place a 10-year program for infrastructure to accommodate long-term strategic initiatives essential to competitiveness and sustainable growth.