Grants awarded, despite grumbles

Parksville council approved their increasingly controversial semi-annual grants-in-aid at the April 2 regular meeting.

Eight community groups requested a total of $5,025, which a committee of council and staff cut down to the $2,500 available.

“I hear from many people about this and everyone’s against it,” Councillor Al Greir said, stressing his well known opposition to the program he has tried to have cancelled.

“Any group that can’t survive without $100 from the city isn’t much of a group,” he repeated his common refrain.

New Coun. Bill Neufeld agreed.

“It’s not a great deal of money but these groups should be able to do it themselves.”

Coun. Sue Powell argued the value of the program in showing support for community groups that work to improve the community and singled out the $500 to the Ballenas Secondary dry grad.

“If it saves one life it’s well worth it,” she said.

During question period Frank Leech asked from the gallery for council to reconsider the BSS grant, expressing “extreme disappointment” with council.

He said the grant means the grads don’t have to work for the money and are missing out on a lesson in the value of working for money.

He also pointed out they are holding part of their celebration on a Nanaimo cruise rather than spending all of the money locally.

Mayor Chris Burger stood by the decision arguing the grant supports of the grads and the hard work they are doing.

The other grants are: $500 to Citizens on Patrol and the Association for Community Living, $300 to the Oceanside Community Arts Council, $200 to the Federation of BC Naturalists, the Parksville and District 69 Team and Vancouver Island Opera, and $100 to the Oceanside Community Network.


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