An official with the Thunder Bay Friendship Centre hopes campaigning politicians will support plans for a new youth centre in the city.

Operations manager Charlene Baglien says she will invite candidates in Thunder Bay-Superior North to visit the Friendship Centre and talk about the $8-million proposal.

Plans for the new facility stalled in March when senior levels of government refused to partner with the city and the Friendship Centre on the project.

Prosvita Hall

So far, efforts to launch a youth centre in Thunder Bay have run into stumbling blocks. (Gord Ellis/CBC)

"There's a lot of work that has to be done," Baglien said. "The Friendship Centre is still committed to pursuing this initiative and we're not going to stop."

A business plan for the new youth centre recognizes the significant, and growing number of young Aboriginal people in the city.

"It would build bridges between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community, provide opportunities to learn about each other," Baglien said.

NDP candidate Andrew Foulds said he was "monumentally disappointed that the partnership that was proposed did not occur."

"I'm disappointed that the province and the feds weren't able to come to the table," he added.

Foulds said he is reluctant to "play politics with youth" by making specific funding promises, but he said the NDP views Friendship Centres as key partners in improving the lives of Aboriginal people.

"I believe adequate sustainable funding for a project like this is worth its weight in gold in terms of having a more just and fair and equitable society," he said.

The Liberal's Michael Gravelle said he also supports the project and encouraged the Friendship Centre to apply to the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.

"My understanding is that application did go forward, it just didn't get dealt with before we were put into an election period," Gravelle said.

"I certainly was keen to work in a very positive way with the city of Thunder Bay and the Friendship centre."

Conservative candidate Derek Parks refused comment on this story.