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Federal government won't fund downtown NHL arena, according to McKenna
OTTAWA - New Minister of Infrastructure Catherine McKenna has shut down notions of federal funding for a downtown NHL arena in Ottawa.
"Well that's not something we normally fund," said McKenna.
"We unfortunately wasted a lot of time, sadly on the previous efforts to get an arena, there's been no serious demonstration about an arena."
The former Environment Minister was shuffled out of her job and into infrastructure and communities.
"The focus is on public transit, affordable housing and green infrastructure," said McKenna.
"We're making those investments here [Ottawa]"
Mayor Jim Watson meanwhile would not rule out an NHL arena coming to Lebreton Flats.
"I agree with the minister that there's no desire to put tax dollars into an arena but there is to block off space for a future arena," said Watson.
"We invested heavily in two stations Pimisi and Bayview and so it makes sense like any other sports franchise in North America."
McKenna was also asked about federal funding for stage three of LRT.
"We need to see a project proposal," said McKenna.
"We are certainly open to it, one of the areas we consider funding is transit."
The comments come as Mayor Watson welcomed the former environment minister alongside Ottawa-Vanier MP Mona Fortier.
Fortier scored a newly created cabinet position as Canada's first Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and associate Minister of Finance.
"I will be working alongside Minister Morneau but also my colleagues like Minister McKenna to make sure that we have the middle class lens," said Fortier.
"To make sure we take into account regional differences across the country that we have to put together, whether urban or rural and that will be part of my task."