• John Jantak

Hudson community centre gets $100,000 federal grant


Vaudreuil-Soulanges Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) Peter Schiefke announces a $100,000 grant for infrastructure improvements to the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre in Hudson to improve access for people with disabilities and limited mobility during a press conference at the centre last Friday, March 1.

The Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre in Hudson will undergo a major facelift this year that will result in easier accessibility for people with limited mobility and disabilities thanks to a $100,000 grant from the federal government.

The announcement was made by Vaudreuil-Soulanges Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) Peter Schiefke during a press conference at the centre last Friday, March 1, on behalf of Carla Qualtrough, the federal Minster of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility. Qualtrough did not attend the event.

Enabling Accessibility Fund

The $100,000 grant will come from the government’s Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) and will be used to revamp exterior and interior entry points which will make it easier for people with disabilities and limited mobility to access and navigate the inside of the centre.

“It’s great news for Hudson and for anybody who has accessibility issues with the community centre. I’m thrilled by this announcement. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. If you look at Hudson, the community centre is a hub of activity,” Schiefke told The Journal.

“We take it for granted that all these great buildings can be accessed by everyone but that’s not really the case. Today’s announcement is about using the fund to ensure that whatever we have in place as far as infrastructure is concerned can be accessed regardless of a person’s mobility and age,” Schiefke added.

Providing the right infrastructure

Mayor Jamie Nicholls welcomed the announcement saying it’s the town’s responsibility to provide its population with the infrastructure and tools they need to access facilities like the community centre regardless of their mobility issues. Nicholls also thanked Schiefke and the federal government for the $100,000 grant.

“When this community centre was built back in 1996, a lot of the time when they were planning for things back then, accessibility was something that was perhaps overlooked at the time. Now that we’re in 2019 it’s a necessity,” Nicholls said.

Accessibility for all

“Especially with an aging population, limited mobility becomes an issue. As is the case in Hudson, the community centre has to be accessible by all. We have to provide the tools to have accessibility for people to enjoy the many services that we offer,” Nicholls added.

Schiefke also noted the community centre received another grant two year earlier from the Canada 150 program to help do other renovations. “The windows, the floors, the roof were redone. This is kind of a continuation of that refurbishing and bringing this building up to speed,” he said.

Large sum for accessibility

“What we’re doing now is providing a very large sum for accessibility. It’s going to replace the doors to make sure they’re automated with buttons that will open them up for seniors, members of the Hudson Legion branch and anyone else who has mobility issues. We’ll also create an exterior ramp so that people can access the downstairs as well,” said Schiefke.

The Community Accessibility funding stream provides funding for projects that help improve accessibility and safety through renovations, retrofits or construction of community facilities and venues so that programs and services can be accessed by people with disabilities. This includes the provision of information and communication technologies for community use that eliminate systemic accessibility barriers.

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