Peterborough city council approves $2M for new canoe museum; $131K for city communications manager

Click to play video 'Peterborough council budget meeting' Peterborough council budget meeting
Peterborough city council approves $2M for the new Canadian Canoe Museum, $130K for communications manager – Nov 28, 2017

Officials with the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough will receive only half the $4 million it was seeking from the city for a new facility.

On Monday night, city council voted to provide $2 million to the $65 million project for a new museum next to the Peterborough Lift Lock as 2018 budget consultations got underway.

READ MORE: Canadian Canoe Museum needs $65M in order to be complete by 2021

City staff had recommended approving the full request. Construction on the museum is expected to begin next year to replace the current facility on Monaghan Road.

This fall the federal government announced $1 million in funding for the project but additional support is expected.

The design for the new Canadian Canoe Museum next to the Peterborough Lift Lock.
The design for the new Canadian Canoe Museum next to the Peterborough Lift Lock. Canadian Canoe

But councillor Andrew Beamer felt the $4-million request from the city’s coffers was too much.

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“Two million shouldn’t be seen as a lack of support but is simply the reality of challenging financial times,” he said.

Mayor Daryl Bennett along with councillors Dan McWilliams, Henry Clarke and Lesley Parnell argued to give the full amount

“I look at this $4 million as a very, very sound investment,” said Bennett.

READ MORE: Peterborough council rejects another slogan for the city

McWilliams called the request, money worth investing.

“I’m looking at $2 million as a lot of money but when I look at tonight we just spent $2 million on washrooms in the city that aren’t going to draw anywhere near the people or the prestige that this (canoe museum) will bring to the community,” said McWilliams.

Council eventually agreed to provide $500,000 annually over the next four years.

The city also approved $131,000 for a new communications manager to help the city to better engage with the community and manage the city’s website and social media sites.

Coun. Keith Riel wanted to see this money come from the $400,000 the city is spending on rebranding.

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“I’m sorry, I have a huge problem here if you are just hiring a manager here for the sake if of managing some people,” he said. “I want somebody that is actually going to do the job and pick up and do some of the heavy lifting here with the people they have and do the job.”