MONCTON (GNB) – A sod-turning ceremony was held today to mark the beginning of the Curl Moncton expansion project.

“Our investment in this strategic recreational infrastructure project will yield a significant return on investment by spurring economic activity and creating jobs in Moncton,” said Finance Minister Cathy Rogers. “Once complete, Curl Moncton’s facility will enhance the quality of life for families in the region.”

Rogers spoke on behalf of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault, who is also the minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation.

“The Government of Canada is committed to investing in local public infrastructure, like the Beauséjour Curling Club, as these facilities improve our quality of life, and strengthen our communities,” said Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP Ginette Petitpas Taylor. “The Government of Canada recognizes that investing in community infrastructure is necessary to strengthen the middle class and provide municipalities with the building blocks they need to support a high standard of living for all Canadians and their families.”

Petitpas Taylor attended for federal Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, who is also the minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

Through the project, Curl Moncton will expand to a 10-ice-sheet facility from its present five-ice-sheets. This will allow for additional curling opportunities for all ages and better position the facility to host major national and international events.

“After five-and-a-half years of looking at various options and finding the necessary funds to expand the Lockhart Avenue facility, we are finally able to proceed,” said Jacques Robichaud, president of Curl Moncton and team leader for the building committee. “I thank past and present members of the building committee, the three levels of government that are assisting us with our project and all Curl Moncton members for their patience and continued support.”

The provincial government is investing $500,000, while the federal government, through ACOA, is contributing $300,000. The City of Moncton is providing a financing package worth $1,071,000.

“The City of Moncton is happy to be a partner in this infrastructure project,” said Deputy Mayor Charles Léger. “Curl Moncton has done a wonderful job in growing the sport of curling and this new facility will undoubtedly help them to attract significant curling championships and events in the future.”