Community Organizations Join Forces to Improve Services for Residents

Funds support creation of accessible gathering space for veterans, expansion of services for adults with intellectual disabilities in Antigonish

October 13, 2017 – Antigonish, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Investing in infrastructure is crucial to economic growth and creating inclusive communities where everyone has access to public services and job opportunities. That is why the Government of Canada is contributing nearly $625,000 to help the Canadian Association of Community Living (CACL) – Antigonish Branch and the Royal Canadian Legion – Arras Branch 59 renovate and upgrade the former National Philatelic Centre building. Once the project is complete, residents and veterans will benefit from a fully accessible space for community gatherings, expanded programs and services, and the growth of social enterprises.

The support was announced by Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). Construction is now underway on the project that will create two distinct, accessible spaces for the two organizations.

Funds will go towards a complete refit of the CACL space, including new interior walls, a commercial kitchen, woodworking rooms and more. The larger space will enable CACL to add new positions and increase its overall programming and production so it can help more adults with intellectual disabilities. The woodshop expansion will also allow CACL to extend the sale of Antigonish-made products across Atlantic Canada.

Funding for this project is being allocated through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund. This investment builds on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy, which involves targeted actions to stimulate Atlantic Canada’s economy, including supporting key infrastructure projects that support long-term growth and position the region to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support organizations such as the Canadian Association for Community Living and the Royal Canadian Legion – Arras Branch 59. When all members of a community are empowered, they are able to build healthier and happier lives, allowing them to contribute and share in Canada’s prosperity.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“This is a great pairing of two organizations that are renowned for their public service. The Canadian Association for Community Living, the Royal Canadian Legion and those they serve will benefit from this arrangement. These two important community organizations recognize the value of working together. And so does the Government of Canada. In cooperation with the Atlantic provincial governments, we are seizing the opportunity to work together to grow the middle class and improve the lives of all Canadians.”
– Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova

“The Municipality of the County of Antigonish has always been a strong supporter of the CACL and Royal Canadian Legion – Arras Branch 59. This funding announcement will help enhance both organizations and we are so pleased to partner with the Government of Canada on this initiative.”
– Owen McCarron, Warden, Municipality of the County of Antigonish

“The CACL and the Royal Canadian Legion – Arras Branch 59 are staples in Antigonish. It is partnerships like this and willingness to work together that are vital to creating a strong, vibrant and inclusive community.”
– Laurie Boucher, Mayor, Town of Antigonish

“The Board of Directors, participants and clients of the Canadian Association of Community Living (Antigonish) are thrilled to achieve this great milestone. With this support from government, community and business partners, we can advance our goals of supporting employment and vocational opportunities for individuals who are disadvantaged.”
– Jeff Teasdale, Executive Director, CACL – Antigonish Branch

“Legion members envisioned a social enterprise partnership that would add employment opportunities, services and value to the community of Antigonish. The move into the new facility will provide the ability for the Legion to be more efficient through resource-sharing as well as create opportunities for new programming and increased membership so that we can effectively continue to serve our veterans and community at-large.”
– Alex Cameron, Manager, Royal Canadian Legion – Arras Branch 59

  • The CACL provides life and work skills development opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities, providing many with the opportunity for wage-earning work within its social enterprises and the private sector.
  • Incorporated in 1977, CACL – Antigonish Branch operates a number of social enterprises, including a woodshop, a bakery, shredding services, a print shop, and laundry services. It has a proven track record with 38 dedicated staff, 87 products and services, and 70 clients working.
  • CACL – Antigonish Branch and the Royal Canadian Legion – Arras Branch 59 together purchased the 21,000 square foot building on St. Ninian Street to house both organizations, each having its own accessible space.
  • The Legion will be able to cater events using CACL’s kitchen and clientele for cooking and serving.
  • The new facility will be a venue for the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games.

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