A member of the British Columbia Liberal Party recently announced that the majority government has pledged to increase grant funding to community organizations in Canada‘s westernmost province by $5 million for the coming year.
BC Liberal, Peter Fassbender, who is Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, announced that the pre-election budget, which will be introduced on Feb. 21, will increase the grant fund to $140 million, according to multiple media sources. The increase will be the first since $15 million was added to the fund by Premier Christy Clark, who in doing so, made good on 2012 leadership campaign pledge.
The recipient of the additional grant fund monies is capital projects of upwards of $20,000, an area that in recent years has not been funded.
In a media interview on Monday, Fassbender said, “We’ve been listening to groups from around the province asking us to reinstate a capital program, and criteria will come out at the end of March, including the application process,” He added, “This is a beginning to going back to look at things like a community group that has a leaky roof in their theatre.”
Fassbender disputed the suggestion that the move is a way to generate favorable announcements prior to an election. “At what point before an election is government supposed to stop doing things? Is it three months before or four months before?” He said, adding, “There will be cynics no matter what we do. My view is we’re meeting a need and I’m delighted to be able to do it,” according to the media.
A broad spectrum of non-profit community organizations are covered by grants from gambling revenue, ranging from minor sports to volunteer fire departments, food banks, and wildlife shelters, among others.