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Skating rink on Parliament Hill set to cost $5.6M, passes must be reserved online

Skating rink on Parliament Hill set to cost $5.6M, passes must be reserved online
Canada
The budget for the first-ever rink on the Hill includes the setup, tear-down, some private security, insurance coverage and the attached facilities like change rooms and bleachers. It also includes the cost of bringing 32 peewee hockey teams from across Canada to Ottawa to compete in a special Canada 150 division tournament from Dec. 26 – Dec. 31.

“I’m sure that people will have fun there for the 28 days it’s up,” said Conservative MP Ben Lobb on Wednesday.

“It looks good for $5.6 million but I don’t really think it’s a responsible use of taxpayer dollars, especially when we are in a deficit, we are adding to our debt.”

Lobb noted that along with Ottawa’s permanent indoor skating rinks, the famed Rideau Canal skateway is  “literally 500 feet down the street” and there is another public outdoor rink at city hall.

“There’s lots of spots to have a great tournament,” he argued. “At the end of the day, it’s your tax dollars.”

Town of Clinton built one of the best arena’s and community centres for 7 million that will last for decades. Or Parl rink 5M for <30 days pic.twitter.com/blMCA6ZW1Y

Construction is already underway but the rink won’t be open to the public until Dec. 7.

It will then stay open until Jan. 1, 2018 (inclusive) with public skating available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. There are certain times, however, when the rink will be dedicated to demonstrations, tournament play and other special programming.

There are rumours the Ottawa Senators may even take to the ice, but that has not been confirmed.

Passes for 45 minutes of ice time will be free, and available online at www.canada150rink.com starting on Dec. 5.  Batches of passes will be released 48 hours in advance, so if you want to skate on Dec. 7, for instance, those passes will be made available on Dec. 5 at noon ET.

Each 45-minute skating period can accommodate up to 200 people on the ice, and you can reserve up to six printable passes at a time. You can also download the passes to a mobile device.

Officials speaking on background in Ottawa on Wednesday said they will monitor online resale sites like StubHub and eBay closely for people attempting to sell the free tickets and make a profit. If this becomes an issue, they said, they may implement additional measures like requiring photo ID with the pass.
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