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Parksville city councillor Greir grouchy about grants

Coun. Al Greir has a perfect record in his attempts to end the grants-in-aid program at Parskville city hall: 0-6.

For the sixth time in his six years on council, Greir introduced a motion Monday night to scrap the system that allows community groups to plead their case for taxpayer funds. Greir's motion specifically exempted groups that organize the Beachfest and Canada Day events in Community Park. His motion was defeated 5-2, with only Coun. Bill Neufeld voting alongside Greir.

"The guy who lives up on Hirst Street doesn't care what these organizations do," Greir said in support of his motion. "I've been trying to eliminate this program for over six years, and over those six years we've given out $30,000. It's a giveaway-money situation. This is really deficit funding and I don't think it's sustainable."

Both Greir and Neufeld said it should be the business community, and not the taxpayer, supporting these organizations.

"If these groups are worthwhile at all they will be able to raise money on their own," said Greir.

Other councillors were quick to defend the program and the community groups as they spoke against Greir’s motion.

“Believe me, the businesses of this city get hit on a daily basis and they do support these organizations,” said Coun. Carrie Powell-Davidson. “I think everyone in this city benefits from these organizations and the events they put on. Imagine a city without these events and organizations.”

Coun. Marc Lefebvre said this hasn’t been an issue for constituents in his 12 years on council.

“I’ve never had anybody come to me and say cancel grants-in-aid,” said Lefebvre. “And businesses are very generous in Parskville. Sometimes, like everyone, they have their limits.”

Greir was relentless in his response to Lefebvre.

“I think you missed the point,” said Greir. “These organizations, if we didn’t give it (money) to them, would go out and raise the money. They will exist. But we just make it too easy for them.”

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