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Jim Maloway, MLA Elmwood
November 28, 2012

Clara Hughes Recreation Park Redevelopment

Mr. Speaker, amid objections six years ago, the City of Winnipeg followed through with its plan to demolish the Kelvin Community Centre. This left a noticeable void in the community, particularly amongst young residents who benefitted through involvement at this recreational facility in more ways than can be said here.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform this House of great news: the redevelopment plans of the site of the former Kelvin Community Centre have begun, and the redevelopment has been renamed the Clara Hughes Recreation Park, after Elmwood's own Olympian, the only person ever to be awarded multiple medals in both the Summer and the Winter Olympics. Her accomplishments are only matched by her commitment to her humanitarian causes, which include Right to Play and her mental health initiatives.

Mr. Speaker, the redevelopment and the renaming of the site would not have been possible without the perseverance of the area residents. Last year, the community came together in protest when the City attempted to sell the former community centre's land to private developers. Unrelentingly, they asserted that the recreational opportunities are essential to a healthy community, and this eventually resulted in the City changing its course of action.

The long list of volunteers who have worked for six years on this issue, since September 2006, include John King, Linda King, Regan Wolfrom, Ed Innes, Moira Honey, Valerie Denesiuk, Carlos Sosa and Clara Hughes, and more recently Councillor Thomas Steen and former Elmwood MLA Bill Blaikie.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to ensuring the new Clara Hughes Recreation Park is the beginning of the restoration of the site. We hope we're well on our way to having a true community centre. Now we'll have a new entry plaza, a skateboard amenity, an accessible playground, a basketball and hockey skills area, a pleasure rink and toboggan slide, site furnishings and landscaping.

Mr. Speaker, I'm indeed looking forward to the completion of this project so that we can move on to phase two of the park's development. My hope is that this is just the beginning.

Thank you.