Local charities can apply as early as Jan. 15 for an unlimited amount after North Saanich council approved plans to share funding designed to ease the effects of COVID-19.
North Saanich had asked staff to explore the distribution of the municipality’s Safe Restart Grant to non-profit organizations and charities serving vulnerable populations.
The public had heard in November that North Saanich would receive $2.711 million in funding through the program. Eligible applicants must be registered non-profit organizations or charities that serve vulnerable populations within the Capital Regional District, while demonstrating the impact that COVID-19 has had, or continues to have, on their operations and finances, according to staff.
Staff had originally recommended that organizations can apply for up to $10,000 with the condition that the applicants must show how they plan to use the funds on the understanding that a grant received in 2021 will not guarantee approval of the grant in the future. Deadline for applications is Feb. 12.
Rebecca Penz, North Saanich’s manager of communication, said council will consider the applications in context of the District’s budget, when asked about council’s decision not to follow the staff recommendation.
North Saanich has already donated $50,000 to the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank.
The Canada-BC Safe Restart Agreement earmarks direct grants of up to $425 million to local governments to help them with the financial impacts of the pandemic as well as costs related to the initial emergency and the subsequent reopening. Restart grants on the Saanich Peninsula include more than $3.45 million for Central Saanich and more than $2.75 million for Sidney.
Central Saanich is also exploring ways to help charities. A portion of the grant funds could also be used to address the revenue shortfall of the Panorama Recreation Centre.
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