Norm Filion, Marc Serré, Joanne Savage, Ken Paquette, along with a small handful of the many volunteers who maintain community activities, on the stairwell of the lobby of Notre-Dame-des Victoires church. The building serves the community in many capacities and needed upgrades to ensure accessibility, including two lifts and an accessible washroom.

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by Isabel Mosseler

Marc Serré was in Field with some good news on May 23. The Nickel Belt MP was welcomed in the lobby of the Notre-Dame des Victoires church where he announced $74,350 in funding for upgrades to make the building more accessible.

The money was granted through the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) to the Club d’entraide Saint Bernard (Chevaliers de Colomb #10357 – Field), and will go toward installing wheelchair lifts for both the main church hall and the basement hall, and revamping the washroom facilities. Field Grand Knight Ken Paquette welcomed the news, pointing out that the church also houses the Knights of Columbus Hall and is utilized by many local groups for a multitude of social functions and public meetings.

Serré noted the role the building has played in the history and culture of the region, and how the community has pulled together to raise funds through various community groups, including the Parish committee, the Golden Age Club, the Ladies’ Auxiliary, the Knights, the Field fire fighters, and the Recreation committee. “We talk about roots! Franco-Ontarians date back more than 100 years in this region,” he said, lauding Field’s collaborative approach.

Serré also took the time to remind community groups that funding for upgrades remains available, but won’t materialize unless organizations apply for it. “The key here is to submit proposals, and getting together… working with my staff in Sturgeon to make sure organizations get their fair share. One of my priorities in Ottawa is ensuring the money is spent on various projects… [in the riding]. I’m still working on Internet for River Valley; it’s a challenge but I don’t quit… This one from the Chevaliers de Colomb is really dear to me,” Serré told the assembled group. “There are two funds, New Horizons (which was utilized by the Legion in Sturgeon Falls and the Club d’age d’or in River Valley) …The other is Accessibility, for all ages.”

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