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

B.C. salmon farm inspection deal reached with Indigenous people

Monitoring to determine if any Broughton region farms stay open

City of Campbell River looks to improve environmental protection during development

Changes to mapping environmentally sensitive areas and how permitting process works is under review

Dippity doo-dah; Campbell River Rotary Duck Dip winners scooped up

Fundraiser for Head Injury Support Society’s Linda’s Place

BC Hydro to pulse water flows down the Elk Falls Canyon to accommodate fish passage

First pulse is today and tomorrow; Hydro warns people to be cautious upstream of Elk Falls

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

Island contestant competes on Great Canadian Baking Show

Andrea Nauta auditioned for the show before but was lucky second time around

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Most Read