The federal government will contribute $1 million toward the construction of the new Gary Martin Arena in Bedford, Federal Cabinet Minister Peter MacKay announced yesterday.

The funding is part of a $2-million investment in four different infrastructure projects in Nova Scotia.

The announcement came on the same day Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Peter Kelly and several other dignitaries broke ground on the new four-pad arena in Hammonds Plains — a project which the federal Tories rejected for stimulus funding.

Liberal MP Geoff Regan said the timing was “strange,” but maintained that federal money for recreational programs in HRM is always welcome, no matter where it goes.

“HRM badly needs ice services, and it’s important to have those facilities as soon as possible,” said Regan.

“But in relation to need, $1 million is really just a drop in the bucket.”

The Gary Martin Arena has been under construction for over a year and is scheduled to open this month.