March 12, 2019 4:02 pm
Updated: March 12, 2019 4:06 pm

Lost provincial funding means uncertainty for Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre

Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin committed $3 million in provincial funding towards the Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre project in November 2017.

CHML
A A

Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson says it’s a “horrible” day.

Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government has announced that it will not honour the former Liberal government’s commitment of a $3-million grant towards a long-awaited project in his community.

READ MORE: Province commits $3M in funding to Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre

Ferguson notes that construction was supposed to start this year at Ancaster’s former Memorial School, transforming into an arts centre with a 450-seat theatre, gallery and programming space.

Ferguson says that to pull the plug now on funding is “unconscionable”, since $1.7 million has already been spent on an archeological study, another $1 million has been spent on design work and the project is out for tender.

WATCH BELOW: Ontario finance minister says Liberals left $15B deficit

 

Story continues below

The provincial funding accounted for about 20 per cent of the project’s cost, but Doug Ford’s Conservative government says it “cannot proceed” with the grant as it seeks to trim an inherited $13 billion deficit.

Ferguson says he’s “currently in shock”, but will think this though in terms of next steps.

READ MORE: Province scuttles housing agreement involving City of Hamilton, Mohawk College

The Ancaster community has fundraised $3.7 million for the $16 million project, while the city and the federal government have also made large investments.

Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas NDP MPP Sandy Shaw is speaking out against the cut, accusing the premier of “giving cash handouts to his closest political allies while telling Ancaster families that they’re not a priority.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error

Comments

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.