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ACOA contributes to Labrador Wellness Centre

Members of the Melville Mantas swim club, seen in front, were on hand for the funding announcement.  Federal, provincial and municipal politicians were also present.
Members of the Melville Mantas swim club, seen in front, were on hand for the funding announcement. Federal, provincial and municipal politicians were also present. - Contributed
HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. —

The Labrador Wellness Centre has received a $1.5-million contribution from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Innovative Communities Fund.

The presentation was made March 18.

“The funding announced today is wonderful news for the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and further demonstrates the viability and vision of the Labrador Wellness Centre,” said Mayor Wally Andersen in a release. “With construction just around the corner, as mayor, I am extremely pleased with having ACOA as a partner.”

The announcement was made by Yvonne Jones, MP for Labrador on behalf of Navdeep Bains, Minister Responsible for ACOA.

Overall cost for the centre is just more than $30 million, with the federal contribution of $7.5 million, the provincial government kicking in $11.5 million, Nalcor providing $1 million, and a HST rebate that will cover $4.1 million.

With this $1.5 million coming off the town’s contribution of $6.5 million, it leaves $5 million to be raised.

“Our council is quite confident with our capital campaign committee in place and the rebate from the HST that we honestly truly believe the town will come forward with what’s required without any cost to the town,” Andersen told the Labradorian in a previous interview.

Andersen said the capital campaign committee has been hard at work and he’s confident they won’t have to borrow the money or raise taxes to cover the remaining amount.

“As chair of the Department of Community Services and Recreation, I am very excited about the funds announced today,” said Councillor Jackie Compton-Hobbs. “Residents will be excited, as well, as we approach the construction phase in mere weeks. The Labrador Wellness Centre is becoming a reality.”

Benefits touted in the past by officials about the facility include being able to help with retention of professionals and a new home for the Melville Mantas swim club.

Construction on the centre will begin this spring and it’s expected to be open in January 2021.

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