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Updated: 7th January 2019 09:35

P3 head blames federal government for dropping rec centres

The head of P3 Canada says it's the federal government — not his agency — that's responsible for dropping recreation centres from the program.

Calgary's application for funding for four recreation centres turned down after two years

The head of P3 Canada says it's the federal government — not his agency — that's responsible for dropping recreation centres from the program.

The City of Calgary was told Thursday its application for up to $100-million for four proposed recreation centres was turned down.

That was after the city spent two years and more than $3 million on the application.

P3 Canada's chair Greg Melchin said the government changed the criteria, removing recreational facilities from the program.

The agency, Melchin said, can only follow the government's direction.

"We have an independent board and we do look at merit, purely merit-based decisions, but fully respect at any time that governments can make decisions that will make people happy and/or sometimes disappoint, in this case."

Speaking at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on Monday Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the federal government encouraged the city to apply for the program and then removed rec centres from it so the city couldn’t get the money.

"It’s their [the federal government’s] prerogative what they want to spend their money on. The real challenge here is a giant game of bait and switch," said Nenshi.

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