Government to spend $500M on Canada’s 150th anniversary

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the Canada, and throughout this year the Federal Government has big plans to celebrate this milestone.

Mark Gerretsen/ MP, Kingston & the Islands:
“What it’s really all about…. is creating opportunities for people to connect, and on various different levels, of how we connect with people. It’s more than just sitting behind a computer, it’s about actually getting out, reaching out to people, and getting in touch with them.”

And Kingston, being Canada’s first capital, will play a big part.

Bryan Paterson/ Mayor, City of Kingston:
“We certainly think it’s appropriate to take a leading role in the sesqui-centennial celebrations for Canada’s 150th. So, there’s a number of different activities that we are planning and we’re going to be rolling them out as the year progresses.”

To encourage the entire country to take part, the government is working to make most of these events free.

Mark Gerretsen:
“This isn’t about trying to make money off people… This is about celebrating Canada, what it is to be Canadian.”

And to do that the Federal Government is spending about 500 million dollars across the country.

Back in 1967, for the 100th anniversary, the Federal Government spent 25 million… with inflation, that is just over 175 million in today’s dollars….less than half of the ‘half a billion’ being spent now.
Here in Kingston some of the money, in the form of grants, will be used to fund multiple celebrations throughout the year and a new lighting system for City Hall and Market Square.

Bryan Paterson:
“The effects and the benefits are going to be able to stay with us long after the celebrations are over”

Callie Warren:
“And even though it’s going to cost a significant amount of money, government officials say it’s not just about the cost… but about the effect it will have on Canadians.”

Mark Gerretsen:
“I absolutely think that everything in moderation is important when it comes to spending money. Sometimes we spend money to celebrate who we are.
Part of being a society is coming together and celebrating together and learning from each other. That’s what money like this does, when you put it towards something like celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada.

Callie Warren, CKWS News, Kingston.

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