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Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) announces funding for Dominion Park Revitalization Project

Pictured from left to right: New Brunswick minister of Climate Change Gary Crossman, Saint John Harbour MLA Arlene Dunn, Saint John mayor Donna Reardon, New Brunswick Minister of Social Development Dorothy Shephard, and Saint John-Rothesay MP Wayne Long

On behalf of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Canada has much to offer visitors: breathtaking landscapes and wide open spaces; diverse and inclusive experiences; and welcoming people from coast to coast to coast who provide outstanding service. Combined with a strong focus on health and safety and high COVID-19 vaccination rates, Canada is among the most alluring and smartest destination choices.  

The pandemic has had an undeniable impact on Canada’s tourism sector. The Government of Canada continues to help tourism businesses recover and position the industry for strong future growth. 

Today, Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John–Rothesay, announced an investment of $185,000 for the City of Saint John through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF). The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

This investment helps support phase one of a three-phased revitalization plan for Dominion Park, a public, freshwater beach on the Saint John River. The project includes the construction of a flood-resistant structure with washrooms, staff facilities and a canteen; landscaping upgrades; change rooms; and a sunset plaza designed with better accessibility to the beach. These upgrades will help the city take advantage of the tourism potential of the park to attract more local and domestic visitors.

Launched in July 2021, the TRF was created to help organizations and businesses in the tourism sector adapt their operations to meet public health requirements, offer innovative products and services to visitors and prepare to welcome back travellers. The TRF is administered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).


“As we recover from the pandemic, we are focused on being there for the tourism sector. With the support announced today, Dominion Park will be able to prepare for the future. This is an important step in the recovery effort as visitors rediscover the world-class tourism experiences Atlantic Canada has to offer.”

- The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The Canadian tourism sector continues to be one of the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are fully committed to supporting businesses and organizations through these challenging times, keeping safety as the top priority while ensuring they get support to quickly recover, innovate their products and services, and thrive. The Tourism Relief Fund will help businesses adapt, make improvements, and be ready to welcome back guests. It also feeds into a broader strategy to help the sector survive the pandemic, recover and grow. The Canadian economy will not fully recover until our tourism sector recovers.”

- The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“Over the last two years, tourism operators have shown tremendous resilience and determination to remain open, adapt their operations and create new and innovative experiences to attract visitors. This investment will help Dominion Park, a place I spent a lot of time at as a youth, become an attractive destination and keep drawing visitors to the Saint John area, providing economic benefits throughout the region.”

- Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John – Rothesay

“Dominion Park has been a longtime favourite recreation destination for residents. The investment in upgrades we are announcing today will help the city take advantage of the tourism development opportunity the park presents, support the businesses that have invested here, and ultimately attract more locals and visitors to the park.”

- The Honourable Dorothy Shephard, Minister of Social Development

“Saint John is a City that is growing in population, and loved for our abundance of nature, water and welcoming communities. We are perfectly positioned along the beautiful Bay of Fundy and incredible St. John River water system. Our partnership to revitalize Dominion Park Beach speaks to the commitment we all share to invest in our natural assets and ensure an enjoyable quality of life for everyone in Saint John. Today’s announcement represents a “first” for our City, with our combined federal, provincial, municipal, corporate and community contributions representing the largest investment ever made to Dominion Park.”

- Donna Reardon, Mayor, City of Saint John

Quick facts

  • Dominion Park is a popular year-round beach and recreation destination located on the west side of Saint John, attracting large crowds year-round for its stunning sunsets, warm waters in summer, and ice fishing opportunities in winter.

  • The province of New Brunswick also provided a contribution of $185,000 for this project through the Regional Development Corporation.

  • The tourism sector is a key contributor to the Canadian economy. In 2019, tourism generated over $104 billion in revenue and directly employed 692,000 people, including those in underrepresented groups like women, students, racialized people, and Indigenous populations.

  • With a national budget of $500 million, including $485 million for regional priorities administered by Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and $15 million for national priorities administered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the Tourism Relief Fund is part of the billion dollars in tourism support announced in Budget 2021.

    o   A minimum of $50 million of the fund’s budget has been earmarked for Indigenous tourism projects. Indigenous communities that rely heavily on tourism have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

    o   $48.5 million from the Tourism Relief Fund has been allocated to ACOA to administer the fund in the Atlantic region.

  • Canada’s regional development agencies are continuing to deliver targeted support for economic recovery in the region. Application intake is open through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency for the Jobs and Growth FundAerospace Regional Recovery Initiative and the Tourism Relief Fund.