Renovations to LSC to go ahead

- April 30, 2009

Gerald Keddy, Conservative MP for the South Shore-St. Margarets, gets the announcement started. (Communications Nova Scotia)

Peter MacKay arrived at Province House having loosened the federal government’s purse strings and distributing millions for construction projects.

He announced $210 million for Nova Scotia infrastructure projects, including $7.5 million for the Bluenose, $18.5 million to improve secondary roads, and $2.1 million for trails and parks.

“I’m here to cut red tape, speed up infrastructure projects and get people to work right away,” said Mr. MacKay, Minister of National Defence, on behalf of Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, at an early morning press conference in the Red Room.

“We’re transforming a crisis into an opportunity,” he added.

Also announced was $114 million (including $56.7 million in federal money) for 25 projects at universities and colleges across the province. As he ran down the list of universities receiving funding, Mr. MacKay pumped his fist in the air when he came to Dalhousie.

Dalhousie will get $27 million through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program to begin an extensive retrofit on the Life Sciences Building. The federal share of $13.5 million will be matched by the province and Dalhousie in an arrangement “that’s still under discussion,” said Dan Harrison, spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Department of Education.

The 405,000-square-foot science building is home to biology, psychology, Earth sciences and oceanography, plus an array of specialized labs. Everything from switching to the most energy efficient lighting, to improving ventilation throughout the building and fixing the roof is in the cards.

Other university projects in Nova Scotia include $345,000 to repair heating and air handling units at the University of King’s College, $7.5 million for Acadia University’s Patterson Hall renovations, and $22 million for the modernization of the McNally building at Saint Mary’s University.

“We’re dealing with economic turbulence and putting the divisiveness of a potential election aside to get these projects moving,” remarked Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald. “This is very good news and important that governments can work together.”

Following the morning announcement, Nova Scotia MLAs returned to the legislature for what could be a short sitting. The opposition parties appear poised to kill a pre-budget bill the minority Progressive Conservative government claims it needs to pass.

The minority MacDonald government needs the support of opposition MLAs to pass its bill and stay in power. If not, the government falls, triggering an election.


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