When the federal government opens the next wave of funding for its Investing in Canada Plan (ICIP), North Bay council has a decision to make.

ICIP is the joint government program where the federal and provincial governments cost-share various projects with towns and cities.

The next stream of funding is expected to be announced soon and is expected to focus on culture and recreation.

The twin-pad arena North Bay council is pursuing falls into this category.

Mayor Al McDonald says it’s a council decision whether the city will apply for ICIP funding for the arena which will be built at the Omischl field.

McDonald says “it’s wonderful that there’s money for the different projects”.

McDonald says if the city doesn’t pursue ICIP for the arena and gets money for an economic development project, then that will free up local money for the arena.

“And if council wants to put the resources toward the twin-pad, it frees up more money for (other) projects we have,” said the Mayor.

Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli says it will be up to each municipality to pick its projects over what they want to pursue, whether it’s economic development, recreational or tourism.

However, he also has a word of caution.

“There’s a limited pool of money,” he said.

“So we ask municipalities to be thoughtful, careful and selective.  And whatever you decide as a municipality, that’s what I’ll champion for you.”