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Province, HRM conclude weeks of convention-centre talks

The proposed convention centre passed another significant hurdle yesterday, with the province and the municipality agreeing on a funding arrangement.

The proposed convention centre passed another significant hurdle yesterday, with the province and the municipality agreeing on a funding arrangement.

The final hurdle is the $46 million requested from the federal government.

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Bill Estabrooks remains confident Ottawa come through.

“Let’s be positive: they’re going to join this because they know how important it is to our region,” Estabrooks said yesterday at a press conference to reveal the deal between HRM and the province.

“With this agreement today ... there will be intense discussions as of (yesterday) morning, until we get a conclusion to that question,” added Mayor Peter Kelly.

The province will now take over as chief negotiator with the federal government. Estabrooks sent a formal request yesterday morning to Infrastructure Minister Chuck Strahl and to Peter MacKay, the minister responsible for Atlantic Canada.

Metro Halifax has learned the provincial government is applying for funding under the Building Canada Plan.

Cathy MacIsaac, spokeswoman for Estabrooks’ department, confirmed there is more than $46 million remaining in Nova Scotia’s share of that fund but could not confirm the province has applied under it.

“There is sufficient funding remaining in the Nova Scotia allocation to cover the federal contribution, but I can’t really say anything further at this time while negotiations are underway,” she said, adding there’s “a little bit more” than $46 million remaining in the fund.

The federal government would not need the approval of the House of Commons to allocate the remaining funding, meaning the province has one month to negotiate the deal.

 
 
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