The City of Campbell River gave $20,000 to Loonies For Loggers back in December, but council voted against a motion to give them another $10,000 on Monday, saying that money is better spent on advocating for getting people in the forestry industry back to work. File Photo

Campbell River City Council to focus on advocacy instead of donations in forestry struggles

Motion to donate another $10,000 to Loonies For Loggers defeated soundly Monday night

Early in December, Campbell River city council approved the donation of $20,000 of its leftover 2019 contingency budget to support Loonies For Loggers, an Island-wide initiative by two ladies to make sure those affected by the recent forestry industry strikes and curtailments were at least fed.

The labour dispute between Western Forest Products and United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 is now heading into month eight, so Coun. Ron Kerr, who proposed the last donation from council that was passed, brought forth a request for another $10,000 to be put towards the same cause on Monday night.

He almost didn’t even get it put on the table for discussion, however, as the motion hung in the air for some time before finally being seconded by Coun. Kermit Dahl, “for discussion.”

“This strike has been going on now for going on eight months in the North Island, and (the last donation) wasn’t just a Christmas-feel-good gesture, it was also a message to the forestry community that we support them in this hard time,” Coun. Kerr says, defending the motion. “This is an emergency, short-term event that needs out support, and, unfortunately, there’s no one else right now that can fill the roll this organization does.”

RELATED: CR Council gives $20,000 to Loonies For Loggers

The rest of council, however, felt that it wasn’t right to keep giving money to Loonies For Loggers when there are many organizations within the community who aren’t getting the same kind of treatment.

Coun. Claire Moglove pointed out that while she certainly appreciates the work Loonies For Loggers is doing, she couldn’t support any more money going their direction from the city.

Moglove says there is a clear set of criteria that has been set by council to determine how they give out money to charities and non-profits, like they’d done earlier that very evening when they approved the first round of the new Social Grants program. That program asked agencies to apply to the city for funding for upcoming projects and would then be vetted by a committee and approved once per year. Two of the criteria for those grants, Moglove points out, are that the organization be a registered charity or not-for-profit society, and that they provide financial statements.

“To provide more funding to an organization that don’t meet that criteria, I just can’t support,” Moglove says, adding “there are many, many organizations within this community that are in need, and people, in general, have the right to make their own decisions about who they provide their donations to. Even though we have gone down this path, if we go to much further, we’re in a position of usurping the general public’s ability to choose what charitable organizations they want to donate to.”

That seemed to be the consensus around the rest of the table.

“I was very proud to be part of this council when we gave that $20,000 before Christmas,” says Coun. Michele Babchuk, “but I can’t help but think that there may be opportunities for advocacy around this issue that we may be able to assist with, which may require some finances, and this isn’t an unlimited pot of money.”

Even Coun. Kermit Dahl, one of the staunchest supporters of the forestry industry on council – he donated his company barbecue trailer and time to a fundraiser just this past weekend that raised over $11,000 for Loonies For Loggers, in fact – says “they’re not really looking for more money.”

“I would agree that putting our money towards advocacy will do a lot more for them at this point,” Dahl says. “Getting them back to work will do more than giving them another box of food. Loonies for Loggers has enough money right now to do another whole Island run of food like they did in December. They’re not looking for more money. They’re looking for us to help be part of the voice that will help find a resolution.”

The motion was defeated soundly, with only Coun. Kerr voting in favour.



miked@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

forestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Rent Bank helps people stay out of homelessness. Black Press stock photo
BC Rent Bank pitched for Campbell River

Program provides loans to keep people housed

Comox Strathcona Waste Management is planning webinars for the public to see the preliminary designs for the new composting facility. Photo CSWM
Preliminary designs for CSWM composting facility released

CSWM wants feedback on designs, holding two webinars next week

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Campbell River automobile dealership reports positive COVID test result

Campbell River automobile dealership Steve Marshall Ford has announced a temporary closure… Continue reading

The Campbell River and District Coalition to End Homelessness will be working towards having people with lived experience of homelessness at the table with a new peer advisory group. Photo courtesy Zoom.
Campbell River Coalition to End Homelessness to include people with lived experience at the table

Coalition and Urban Indigenous Housing group starting peer advisory working group

Greg Janicki (left), owner of Dogwood Pet Mart rasied $410 this year for the Campbell River SPCA’s Loonies for Love fundraiser which he presented to Stephanie Arkwright, branch manager of the BCSPCA – Campbell River Community Animal Centre. Photo contributed
Pandemic doesn’t stop annual Loonies for Love SPCA fundraiser

Fundraising has been a bit challenging over the past year, but the… Continue reading

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Most Read