Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson says it’s a “horrible” day.
Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government has announced that it will not honour the former Liberal government’s commitment of a $3-million grant towards a long-awaited project in his community.
Ferguson notes that construction was supposed to start this year at Ancaster’s former Memorial School, transforming into an arts centre with a 450-seat theatre, gallery and programming space.
Ferguson says that to pull the plug now on funding is “unconscionable”, since $1.7 million has already been spent on an archeological study, another $1 million has been spent on design work and the project is out for tender.
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The provincial funding accounted for about 20 per cent of the project’s cost, but Doug Ford’s Conservative government says it “cannot proceed” with the grant as it seeks to trim an inherited $13 billion deficit.
Ferguson says he’s “currently in shock”, but will think this though in terms of next steps.
The Ancaster community has fundraised $3.7 million for the $16 million project, while the city and the federal government have also made large investments.
Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas NDP MPP Sandy Shaw is speaking out against the cut, accusing the premier of “giving cash handouts to his closest political allies while telling Ancaster families that they’re not a priority.”
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