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Quesnel multi-centre "dead" says regional district vice-chair

An image from the Our Multi-Centre website.

Voters in the Cariboo Regional District have voted "no" in a referendum asking to borrow up to $15 million for the construction of a multi-centre in Quesnel. The proposed multi-centre would include an NHL-size hockey arena, theatre, and event space.

This vote was actually asking for an extension of authorization first given in 2008, to borrow $15 million towards the estimated cost of $30 million. The rest of the money is to come from government grants and private donations, but has yet to meet its funding target.

Ted Armstrong is vice-chair of the Cariboo Regional District, and he feels that this weekend's "no" vote means the multi-centre project as proposed is dead. He adds that he still thinks upgrading local facilities should be a priority. "It's very important in my view, the arena apparently is over 60 years old... it still has wooden benches." But he's not sure how his government will go forward with the project without the $15 million loan. "The public has spoken, and that's it."

Armstrong and other government officials on the multi-centre's joint planning committee meet tonight to discuss their options.

The question posed in the referendum was "Are you in favour of the Cariboo Regional District extending its authorization to borrow up to $15,000,000 to provide for the construction of a new arena, theatre and multi-purpose event space, for a further two year period, to allow fundraising efforts to continue?"

The preliminary results from the weekend's vote are 1,516 in favour and 2,070 opposed.

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