The federal and provincial governments announced more than $6 million in funding July 20 for a new pool in Northern Manitoba to replace one shut down due to structural issues, but it’s in Flin Flon, not Thompson.
The governments are contributing $6.35 million to the replacement for the Aqua Centre, shut down since 2020, about a year after Thompson’s Norplex Pol was permanently closed for similar reasons. The City of Flin Flon is contributing about $2.3 million to the project.
“This investment in our community and region cannot be undersold," said Flin Flon Mayor Cal Huntley in a press release. "It is so important not only to the character of our city, but the safety and health as well. After all, we are the land of 100,000 lakes. Myself and all facets of my community from the children to the seniors are unbelievably excited about this announcement. Given everything that’s going on, the timing couldn’t be better.”
The new pool was among 15 Manitoba projects receiving a total of about $23 million from the provincial and federal government through the rural and northern communities stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). The only other northern project on the list is construction of a floating boardwalk along the northeast shore of Grace Lake near The Pas, which is receiving $270,000 from the federal government.
In October 2019, eight months after the Norplex was closed down, Thompson city council passed a resolution seeking an Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) grant, which would cover 76 per cent of an estimated total cost of $20 million for a new pool, with the city chipping in just over $5 million.
A design for a replacement for the Norplex Pool should be ready by October or November and a floor plan has already been completed, council heard in April.