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City celebrates Spirit Square opening, funding announcement

June 24, 2008
News Release

QUESNEL, B.C. – The City of Quesnel enjoyed an incredibly productive day today, highlighted by several events and announcements. The day started with a fruitful working session, with Premier Gordon Campbell, the Hon. Ida Chong and the Hon. Blair Lekstrom meeting with Council and senior City staff. The group spent more than an hour dealing with several key issues, including West Quesnel Land Stability, municipal-rural relations and forestry.

“What an incredible opportunity this was for the City of Quesnel,” said Mayor Nate Bello. “We sat with the Premier for an hour, dealing with one substantive issue after another. Not only was he interested in what we had to say, but he offered suggestions, and added congratulations for the work we’ve done to date. He was particularly interested in the Quesnel Community and Economic Development Corporation’s Prosperity and Sustainability document.”

Many of the issues dealt with will fall under the portfolio of Minister Lekstrom, who was named the new Minister of Community Development yesterday.

“Who better than a northerner and a former mayor to understand the pressures municipalities face,” added Bello. “When we talk about regional issues and Quesnel’s development, he’ll understand what we need to make our community stronger.”

Council thanked Minister Chong for her years of service as the Minister of Community Services. She has been very helpful, especially regarding the West Quesnel Land Stability program.

The day was accented by the official opening of the Quesnel Spirit Square, the first Spirit Square to open in the province. Hundreds flocked to the square for the formal ceremony and official opening. Premier Campbell also made a surprise announcement, providing a grant of $494,863 from the LocalMotion program that will be used towards the construction of a pedestrian and cycling underpass of Hwy. 97 at the top of Dragon Lake Hill.

“This was a remarkable day for Quesnel,” said Bello. “I’m thrilled that so much of our planning and preparation is paying off. We have a vibrant, diversified community here that is only going to get stronger in the future.”

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