News Release: National Community Economic Development Organization Calls on Saskatchewan Government to Support Station 20 West

April 17, 2008

Victoria, BRITISH COLUMBIA – The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) is calling on the government of Saskatchewan to re-instate their $8-million investment in Station 20 West. The $11.5-million dollar multi-use facility, located in the low-income inner-city core of Saskatoon, is being developed to revitalize local communities. Providing essential community-led services like outreach medical treatment, a co-operative grocery store and affordable housing, the facility is being hailed as a national demonstration project for what is effective in reducing poverty. CCEDNet – representing the interests of thousands of community economic development organizations – believes that government investment in projects like Station 20 West are integral in helping to transform inner-city neighbourhoods into attractive places to live and work.

Rupert Downing, Executive Director of CCEDNet, added that “our national work across Canada points to a history of success in revitalizing communities by creating community-owned and driven strategies to tackle poverty, homelessness and neighbourhood decline. Saskatoon’s Station 20 West is a national model which demonstrates all the right approaches to creating social and economic opportunities. It is very disappointing that the Government of Saskatchewan has cancelled its investment without doing due diligence on the cost-benefit of this kind of community partnership.”

Community economic development has a long history of success in revitalizing communities across Canada through locally-led action. The combined values of inclusiveness, sustainability and reciprocity ensure that economic change is long-lasting for struggling communities.

Saskatchewan board member, Victoria Morris, states that “Station 20 West represents a much needed and very positive direction for Saskatoon’s core neighbourhoods. There is a vast amount of community support.” In response to the provincial government’s reallocation of the funding, the community has shown support for Station 20 West by organizing the largest rally in recent Saskatoon history, starting a capital campaign, begun government letter writing campaigns, community art projects and a Facebook group with almost 5,000 members. “As a resident of the core neighbourhoods, I greatly anticipate being able to access the much needed services that Station 20 West will provide.”

The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) is a national non-governmental charitable organization established to support the work of community organizations that are creating economic opportunities and enhancing social conditions in Canada. CCEDNet, in partnership with Quint Development Corporation, is hosting the 2008 National CED Conference in Saskatoon, May 21-24.

Community Economic Development (CED) is action by people locally to create economic opportunities and better social conditions, particularly for those who are most disadvantaged. CCEDNet’s national office is located in Victoria, BC.

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For more information, please contact Erin Brocklebank, Communications Coordinator, (250) 386-9980 ext.106.