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Province Promotes Tourism And Economic Growth In Sault Ste. Marie

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Province Promotes Tourism And Economic Growth In Sault Ste. Marie

McGuinty Government On The Side Of Northern Prosperity

SUDBURY - The McGuinty government is supporting economic growth and job creation in Sault Ste. Marie by investing in a modern sport, entertainment and events centre in the heart of the city's downtown core, Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti announced today on behalf of Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci.

"We are on the side of northern prosperity.  That's why we're fostering economic growth and enhancing tourism opportunities throughout Northern Ontario," said Bartolucci, who also chairs the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC). "We expect this new multi-use centre will become a major economic driver for the downtown core of Sault Ste. Marie and beyond."

The McGuinty government, through the NOHFC, is investing $1 million toward the tourism and multi-use features of the new 140,000-square foot Steelback Centre. The multi-use features supported by this investment will include a sound system, a score board/clock, kitchen and concession equipment, as well as additional multi-use suites and washrooms. The new complex will attract events such as meetings, conventions, conferences, major concerts, theatre productions, equestrian competitions and other specialty shows.

"The construction of the Steelback Centre is great news for Sault Ste.Marie; this sport, entertainment and events facility, along with the many other tourism initiatives our government is supporting, will give Sault Ste. Marie a distinct competitive advantage in the medium-size events marketplace," said Orazietti. "By creating 35 additional part-time and five full-time positions this facility will bring far-reaching benefits to our community."

The $25-million Steelback Centre will also be the new home of the Soo Greyhounds - Sault Ste. Marie's Ontario Hockey League franchise - and will regularly host traditional major sporting events and competitions such as hockey, figure skating and curling. The new centre will have a seating capacity of 5,000 for spectator sports and 6,500 for concerts, conventions, meetings and other attractions. Construction of the new facility is expected to be completed this fall.

Other McGuinty government initiatives that are benefiting northerners include:

•    Investing $15 million from the NOHFC in a partnership to develop a major tourist and commercial project on the Sault Ste. Marie waterfront.

•    Helping to create 16 new jobs by providing $2,125,000 to the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation for the construction and expansion of a new melamine lamination plant.

•    Investing a record $357 million to expand and upgrade the nearly 11,000-kilometre highway network in northern Ontario through the Northern Highways Program, which includes accelerating the completion of construction on Highway 17 East between Sault Ste. Marie and Bar River Road.

•    Maintaining a province-wide system of Ontario Travel Information Centres that provided tourism information to 1.8 million visitors last year.

These initiatives are part of the government's Northern Prosperity Plan for building stronger northern communities. The Northern Prosperity Plan has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.

Laura Blondeau
MNDM - Sudbury
(705) 564-7454    

Michel Lavoie
MNDM - Sudbury
(705) 564-7125



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