The Campbell River Food Bank received a social grant in 2016 that allowed them to purchase coolers for perishable food. Starting in 2019 city council will allocate four times as much money into their social grant program. Mirror File Photo

Campbell River council quadruples social grant allocation

Fund will rise to $100,000 per year

The city will dramatically increase the amount of money it gives out to people working in the community helping those at greatest risk.

During financial planning deliberations last week, council decided they will quadruple the allocated budget for social grants, beginning in 2019.

“When we’re looking at $25,000 in social grants, that’s really not enough money to even get your feet wet or do anything,” said Coun. Larry Samson.

While the rest of council agreed, in principal, that they should be setting more money aside for requests from social programs and organizations, there was concern that they don’t really have a policy in place for who should be able to access that money or how they would go about applying for it.

“I feel quite strongly that without that policy in place, we are putting the cart before the horse,” said Coun. Colleen Evans. “I agree that there’s the potential to increase the social grant funding, but until we see clearly what the requirements are to apply for a social grant, what the parameters are, I think that’s the time to increase the funding.”

Chief Financial Officer Myriah Foort reminded council that city staff have been tasked with creating a new policy for how that money would be accessed, which Foort says should happen “early in the new year.”

So with that policy set to be put in place next year, Coun. Ron Kerr proposed that council begin setting aside more money beginning the year after.

“I think that if we have it in the budget, not for the coming year but the following year, it allows the next council to look at it and it gives direction that we’re looking at this seriously,” Kerr said.

“One of our strategic priorities is to care for the most vulnerable in our community,” agreed Mayor Andy Adams. “We had initially set up a modest amount of $25,000 to begin that process, and I certainly agree with Coun. Evans that we need to have a policy to administer how we’re going to do that, but that $25,000, as little as it is, has made a big difference to the organizations that have received a little bit of it.

“Whether we feel it’s our responsibility or not – the majority of the issues are a provincial responsibility – we’re in it. It’s our community and we have our responsibility.”

In the end, council voted in favour of increasing the social grant fund to $100,000 per year from the current $25,000 beginning in 2019.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Repaved stretch of Hwy. 19A dangerous, Campbell River cyclist says

Mayor says city could do better job at consulting with cyclists and other residents

Campbell River-area residents on the hook following fisheries violations

DFO announces convictions related to sea urchin, prawn fisheries

Campbell River arena first to switch to carbon dioxide from ammonia

Work to decommission refrigeration system at Strathcona Gardens now underway

VIDEO: Heroes highlighted in Campbell River

The 2nd annual Local Hero Awards took place on May 16 in Campbell River

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read