Halifax, Dartmouth lace up for rink fight

City councillors on both sides of the Halifax harbour are fighting for a new multi-pad hockey rink in their communities.

Both areas hurting for ice time

Minor hockey teams and figure skating clubs are pushing for more ice time in Dartmouth and Halifax. (CBC)

A new report will spell out where the next four-rink arena will be built and city councillors on both sides of the Halifax harbour are fighting for their community.

Dartmouth councillors say they're next in line.

The community lost the Akerley arena and other rinks have had to shut down for long-term maintenance leaving minor hockey and figure skating clubs scrambling for ice time.

Coun. Gloria McCluskey said Bedford got a new facility just over three years ago.

“We were promised.  We said we'll put this one in Bedford, the next one goes in Dartmouth.  And that's where it has to go, in Dartmouth,” she said.

But peninsular Halifax is also hurting for ice time.

Dalhousie University's arena is gone.  The Devonshire rink and the arena at Saint Mary's University are on their last legs and the Halifax Forum needs significant upgrades. 

Coun. Waye Mason said he hopes projects in both Halifax and Dartmouth can go ahead at the same time.

“We've been working towards a strategy for eight or nine or ten years and we just need to get on with both of them as quickly as possible,” said the south-end councillor. “So I'm not sure there will be a phasing issue.  Nobody is sure.”

The report is expected in February. A tender to construct the rink is expected by the end of the year.

Close to $39 million has been earmarked for new arenas in next year's budget.