Coun. Zeb King said council is not acting fast enough to help individuals struggling with economic effects of COVID-19. (Black Press Media File)

Coun. Zeb King said council is not acting fast enough to help individuals struggling with economic effects of COVID-19. (Black Press Media File)

Central Saanich councillor criticizes colleagues for being too slow with grants

Coun. Zeb King takes peers to task after council rejects his notice of motion

One Central Saanich councillor feels council is not acting fast enough to help those struggling with the economic effects of COVID-19.

Coun. Zeb King made that comment after council voted against his notice of motion that would have asked staff to consult with the Farmland Trust Society (FLT) about using some of the $3.45 million the municipality received through a joint federal-provincial program designed to help municipalities deal with the effects of COVID-19.

“This is certainly not a rapid response to helping the needy and it fails to show leadership on the part of the [council],” he said. “Instead, the council wants to punt this to a slow staff allocation process that might provide $7,500 max.”

King suggested individuals need help now, not later.

Couns. Carl Jensen, Gordon Newtown, Niall Paltiel, and Bob Thompson voted against the motion with Coun. Chris Graham absent.

King acknowledged the society can apply for funding up to a maximum of $7,500 and only once council has formally approved a larger pot of $50,000 for grants. King had pushed for a large figure.

Council earlier signed off on language that would allow non-profits to apply for support. Staff told the public at the time that the municipality had developed these figures on the basis of its own grant-in-aid program as well as developments in other communities with the addendum that groups can apply for more than $7,500 subject to council approval. A motion by Newtown to lower the limit to $5,000 failed.

RELATED: Central Saanich to spell out options for financially supporting Panorama Recreation Centre

While King encouraged the society to apply, he added that he would have liked to have seen a “grander vision to help people by helping FLT in a bigger way.”

The self-described mission of the society includes “producing food for those in need” among other goals. The central mean of this mandate is the ‘field to plate’ initiative that sees the growing of food on Newman Farm for what King’s notice of motion describes as Greater Victoria’s “most vulnerable, including people struggling with homelessness, mental health challenges, substance use issues, the working poor, and impoverished elderly.”

Opponents of King’s motion did not comment on the substance, but rather the process. Newtown wondered why council should ask staff to talk with the society before any prior application and Thompson said he would have voted for language that asked staff to inform the society. Jensen argued that King’s motion would have politicized the process around the grant.

“Are we going to extend the courtesy [of reaching out] to every non-profit in Central Saanich?” asked Jensen.

King pointed out that council had approved the application process before his notice of motion. It should have appeared before council more than a month ago, but a snow storm cancelled the Dec. 21 meeting.

Mayor Ryan Windsor encouraged groups to apply for the funding.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

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

Just Posted

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Sidney staff have cleaned up unknown number of screws dumped along Resthaven Drive. (Black Press Media File)
Crews deal with a rock slide on the Malahat section of Highway 1 in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Rock work closes Highway 1 in Langford for spurts

Friday closures could delay drivers up to 20 minutes

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read