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, MLA Brandon East
April 24, 2013

Keystone Centre Roof Repairs

Mr. Speaker, the Keystone Centre is the most significant community-driven, economic engine outside of the Perimeter Highway and the largest community centre in the province of Manitoba. The Keystone works daily to stimulate positive community development opportunities in western Manitoba and to contribute to the growth of the provincial economy.

For these reasons, I am especially proud to rise today and discuss the first rollout from the 2013 provincial budgetthe recent announcement by the government to replace the Keystone Centre's roof. This $4-million upgrade will ensure that athletic courts, walkways and rental space will be protected from the elements and that the Keystone Centre will continue to thrive.

Since being built in the 1970s by the Schreyer government in partnership with the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba and the City of Brandon, the Keystone Centre has become a cornerstone of sport, agriculture, commercial trade and entertainment in Westman. It is home to the Brandon Wheat Kings, the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, the Brandon Curling Club and much more.

Over the years, prestigious competitions such as the Memorial Cup, the World Curling Championships and the Canadian Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show have been hosted at the centre, attracting visitors from across the province, across the nation and across the world.

It is crucial that we continue to invest in critical infrastructure like the Keystone Centre, Mr. Speaker, and both the Doer and Selinger governments have invested in the Keystone at historic levels. In addition to the upcoming roof upgrades announced in Budget 2013, much has already been done, including boiler, ramp and concourse renewal; developing the $15-million Agricultural Centre of Excellence, which was derided by our opponents as building Cadillac barns; and developing private box seating for the Memorial Cup as well as for advancing corporate sponsorship and commercial opportunities.

I am proud that we're continuing to work with the Keystone Centre's dedicated staff and other partners to ensure that this cornerstone of the Westman region remains a key economic driver for the region and for our province.

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to support the Keystone Centre and to invest in the future of western Manitoba through its ongoing development. Thank you.