THORNTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 25, 2013) - Members of the community gathered together at the Thornton Arena today to celebrate an announcement by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). Minister Goodyear was joined by Kellie Leitch, Member of Parliament for Simcoe-Grey.

Under the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF), Minister Goodyear announced federal funding of up to $281,677 to the Township of Essa for the replacement and upgrading of the ice pad surface and refrigeration system at the Thornton Arena. Work on the project involves installing new refrigerant piping with a new concrete slab covering, as well as upgrading the refrigeration system to increase the capacity and sustainability of the ice surface, which will enhance safety for users.

"The Harper Government is pleased to partner with the Township of Essa to revitalize the Thornton Arena," said Minister Goodyear. "Through the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund, our Government continues to support projects that improve safety and energy efficiency as well as stimulate the economy in communities across southern Ontario."

"Our Government's investment will not only enhance the experience and services delivered at the Thornton Arena, but it will also support the creation of jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity in the community," said MP Leitch. "Together, we are building stronger communities here in Ontario, for a stronger Canada."

"The Township of Essa is very pleased to be a recipient of the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund for the renovations and upgrades to the Thornton Arena," said Sandie Macdonald, Deputy Mayor for the Township of Essa. "These much needed improvements will have a cost-saving effect for the taxpayers of the Township and all users of the facility will benefit from the new technology and safety features installed."

The Fund supports, on a cost-shared basis, repairs and improvements to existing community infrastructure that is accessible for use by the public. Recipients of the Fund may receive contributions of up to $1 million and must leverage a minimum of 50 percent of funding from other sources. Please see the backgrounder for more information on CIIF.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit or call 1-866-593-5505.

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Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund

The national Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund provides $150 million over two years for repairs and improvements to existing public community infrastructure. The Fund is being delivered by regional development agencies across Canada. FedDev Ontario is responsible for administering the program, drawing on its expertise in the delivery of infrastructure programs, while the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) will use its knowledge of the region to manage communications activities related to the Fund in northern Ontario.

Organizations that are receiving funding include the following:

  • local or regional governments or related agencies;
  • provincial entities that provide municipal-type services to communities;
  • not-for-profit organizations; and
  • First Nations governments, including band or tribal councils or their legally designated representatives.

The Fund will benefit many types of community infrastructure, including community centres, cultural centres, parks, libraries, recreational facilities, tourism facilities, and other existing community infrastructure assets that have a local community impact.

All projects must be completed by March 31, 2014.

Contact Information:

Michele-Jamali Paquette
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario