WINNIPEG, Manitoba – One of Manitoba’s longest standing football clubs, the St. James Rods Football Club will benefit from a $305,000 contribution through the Canada-Manitoba Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF).

The Honourable Jim Rondeau, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mines, on behalf of the Honourable Ron Lemieux, Manitoba Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, and Steven Fletcher, Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification, made the announcement today.

“We are pleased to partner with the St. James Rods on their plans that will result in significant improvements to a much-needed sports facility,” said Minister Rondeau. “The changes will expand and update the site and will allow up to 70,000 more people per year to utilize the facility – either as athletes or spectators.”

“Canada’s New Government is getting things done for people in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba,” said MP Steven Fletcher. “Together with our partners, we are pleased to invest over $300,000 in this project to expand the Rods Football Club facility and contribute to the health and well-being of the community.”

This is the second infrastructure project of a total of 13 projects totaling more than $17 million being announced in Manitoba by the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba.

The infrastructure funding announced today will be used by the St. James Rods Football Club to rejuvenate and improve its current site with construction of expanded facilities for players, more green space and better practice lighting to accommodate the program’s eleven teams.

“As a club providing football to over 330 players aged 7 to 21 years old, we are thrilled to receive this funding so that the existing facility can be updated to meet our needs. We look forward to completion in 2007!” said Laura Shea, President St. James Rods.

More specific details of the other projects receiving contributions through MRIF will be revealed at events with local partners held throughout the province over the coming weeks. The projects being announced support MRIF’s green and recreation project categories.

The Canada-Manitoba Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF) is investing a total of $120 million in communities across Manitoba. Of the total funds, 80 per cent of MRIF is earmarked for communities with a population under 250,000, including 199 municipalities and 50 unincorporated Northern Community Councils in rural and northern Manitoba. The remaining 20 per cent is for communities with populations over 250,000.

Each of the following projects is receiving funding under the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF) through matching one-third contributions from the federal and provincial governments and the local project proponent.

Winnipeg St. James Rods Football Club Inc. $305,000

Rods Rejuvenation Project The Rods are the longest running minor football club in Canada, providing quality football programs to over 300 players from ages seven to adult. The facility’s expansion will help meet the growing needs of the Rods’ present football program and allow for further development.