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City of Parksville give DARE program a boost

Parksville city council will grant the local Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program $1,300 to help with an annual funding shortfall.

“I’m very familiar with this and I highly value this program,” said Coun. Carrie Powell-Davidson who proposed a grant in response to a request from the program. “This is a very valuable program for young people in our communities.”

DARE is a charitable organization that brings RCMP officers into Grade 5 and 6 classrooms to “empower them to avoid the use of drugs and alcohol by making healthy choices,” according to its letter to council.

While the RCMP covers the officer’s salaries, they also provide $10 in learning materials to each student, meaning the 130 students they saw in Parksville cost them $1,300.

Last year they appealed to service clubs and Parent Advisory Councils, but didn’t raise any money and had to deplete their reserves to cover costs.

Coun. Al Greir argued against the grant, praising the program but pointing out the council contingency fund was $17,000 over budget last year and he was unhappy they were considering taking this out of next year’s budget.

“Somehow we have to make tough decisions on how we’re spending money,” said Greir.

Greir and Mayor Chris Burger voted against the grant.

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