VANCOUVER South Vancouver seniors are finally flush with government cash to build a long-awaited seniors centre.
The province promised an additional $1.2 million for the project on Wednesday on top of $1.3 million it gave last year.
"I'm very pleased that my government was able to step up and provide for the seniors living in this area," MLA Suzanne Anton announced at the Killarney community centre on Wednesday. "This will be a wonderful facility for seniors to get out and participate in social activities and be active in our community."
This boosts total government funding for the Killarney seniors centre to $8.7 million, more than the $7.5 million the seniors originally asked for more than a decade ago.
For years, the community badgered politicians to hand over cash for a seniors centre in the neighbourhood home to more than 27,000 seniors. At the start of 2014, they only had only received land and $3.8 million from the city and province.
But their luck quickly changed for the best, with the municipal, provincial and federal governments all forking over more cash this year.
The city earmarked another $1.2 million for the project in January from the 2013 operating surplus and still intends to spend it on the centre despite the extra provincial money, Coun. Raymond Louie said.
"My intention is to keep that available in order to build the best facility possible, including the kitchen," Louie said.
Regardless of the politics behind the influx of cash, South Vancouver seniors are thrilled to finally get the ball rolling on a centre.
"It is a great relief to know that our governments, at all levels, recognize the importance of seniors' well being," said Lorna Gibbs, president of the Southeast Vancouver Seniors' Arts and Cultural Society. "We can't wait to get started on the design phase of the project."
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