Kinew pledges funding for community and recreation centres, addictions, during stop in Brandon

The leader of Manitoba’s NDP spent the afternoon on Wednesday in Brandon making a trove of commitments worth millions of dollars in the Wheat City.

More than $12 million in commitments made by NDP leader on Wednesday

NDP Leader Wab Kinew stopped in Brandon for several announcements on Wednesday, flanked by local candidates, including Brandon East's Lonnie Patterson, centre, and Brandon West's Nick Brown, right. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

The leader of Manitoba's NDP spent Wednesday afternoon in Brandon making a trove of commitments worth millions of dollars in the Wheat City.

Wab Kinew said his party would commit $6.5 million toward a new community centre and a recreation facility, if elected next week.

"This has been a need that I've heard identified and I want to show that we're committed to bringing about a healthier, safer and more well Manitoba for young people, but also for people in the community," he told reporters at a park in Brandon West. 

Kinew, flanked by candidates from the three Brandon ridings as well as those from rural areas, said he would leave the location and specifics of the community centre — a $2.5 million commitment — up to the City of Brandon. 

The city closed the South End community centre in 2017 due to structural issues, while both the Park and Central community centres need extensive repairs and are at risk of closing, according to the city's recreation and community facilities master plan.

Brandon East Liberal candidate Kim Longstreet also identified the closure of the South End community centre as an issue she would advocate for, if elected. 

"Whether it goes on an old site, whether it goes on a new location, that's something I want to collaborate on," Kinew said, of the community centre commitment. "But we're willing to come forward with the resources to make that a reality." 

Kinew also pledged $4 million on Wednesday to go toward building a new recreation facility in the east end of the city. The centre could come at a total cost of roughly $12 million, he said, and would need funding by the other two levels of government. 

He also repeated a pledge made earlier in the campaign to open 25 detox beds in Brandon within the first 100 days in office — a $750,000 commitment — and to built a new long-term treatment facility for addicts — a $5 million capital commitment, with a $1 million per year operating cost. 

"We'll work with the community to identify the location," he said. 

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