A Saskatchewan rancher tapped into frustration over federal spending on Canada 150 with a tweet sent out during last week’s cold snap.
Adrienne Ivey ranches with her family near Ituna, about 135 kilometres northeast of Regina.
She took to Twitter on Dec. 28 after learning a kids’ hockey tournament due to take place on a multi-million dollar temporary rink built on Parliament Hill as part of Canada 150 celebrations was being moved indoors due to cold weather, with temperatures reaching -18 C.
Meanwhile she noted that kids in Ituna were playing in the town’s aging rink every day last week as temperatures neared the -30 C mark.
Ivey said it would have been tough to keep Ituna’s kids off the ice, even if they’d wanted to.
“You take a break after an hour and go and warm their hands and toes up. But they’re fine. They’re begging to be out there,” she said Tuesday on Gormley.
Ivey’s post generated well over 1,000 re-tweets, and drew considerable discussion, with some from the Ottawa area also questioning the need to spend more than $5 million for a temporary sheet of ice right next to the world-famous Rideau Canal, which also offers public skating in the winter.
Ivey said she found the entire situation frustrating, in light of the fact that Ituna’s rink is starting to show it’s age since it was built in the 1960’s.
“Our roof is failing and we need significant capital to move forward. Our dream is to build a new rink, or at the very least, we have to completely re-do the roof that we do have,” she said.
Ituna won $100,000 towards its rink after making the final four in last year’s Kraft Hockeyville contest.
Ivey said fundraising efforts have now doubled that cash. But they still want to reach well over $1 million to re-do the roof on their current rink, and would need somewhere in the realm of $3 million to $4 million for a new building.
Ivey said she’d have loved to see even a portion of the money spent on Ottawa’s temporary rink given to small-town rinks instead.
“It’s so frustrating to see that there’s so much money for things out east — and it was a temporary rink to begin with. Even if it hadn’t shut down in the cold,” she said.