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Halifax – The union representing municipal outside workers at the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) is vowing to fight a proposal to close the historic Halifax Forum – one of the country’s oldest arenas and a designated HRM heritage building.

CUPE Local 108 President Mike Young says, “We believe that the Halifax Forum is much more than a building or a hockey arena.  It is a vital part of Halifax’s north end, the city’s history and is worth preserving.

“We will be reaching out to other organizations and businesses in the north end of Halifax who share our desire to save this facility and try to convince the mayor and council that the Forum is too important to simply tear down,” says Young.

Young says the union is encouraged to hear that the Chairman of the Forum’s Board of Directors is equally shocked by the recommendation to destroy such an iconic part of the city’s heritage.

“We agree with George Findlay that the two committees of council who will be looking at the staff report today, need to take a closer look at the option of renovating the existing facility so that it can continue to serve the city’s north end,” says Young.

“We also have a number of questions about a proposal that HRM join forces with CFB Halifax to build a $45-million, four-pad arena at Windsor Park. Is this a P3 (Public Private Partnership) and if it is, what does this mean for HRM taxpayers?  We all know that P3 schools in this province, for instance, were a disaster.”

Young says a suggestion from staff that multi-pad arenas mean purchasing one Zamboni rather than four is not at all accurate.  Says Young, “They tried that at the BMO four-pad arena in Bedford, and they’ve already had to move to two machines.  They’re still getting complaints about inadequate ice cleaning.”

Young says CUPE will be contacting local councillors, MLAs and MPs, as well as the many, many organizations that have used the Forum dating back to 1927 to join the fight to save the Forum.