Grant funds went to fun and to streams, councillor responds

North Saanich councillor Conny McBride responds to comment about grant in aid funding

Re: Grant to streams protectors gains negative attention (Letters, Aug. 17)

I would like to respond to Sheila Irving’s letter in Friday’s paper. When the grants in aid were discussed during the budget process Coun. Craig Mearns said it best. All requests are important and worthwhile, however we can only do so much.

For many years, Peninsula Streams Society has received the full amount or close to their full request. They have also been paid to do work for our District of North Saanich, for which they received tens of thousands of dollars.

The cut in grant funds was not to undervalue their contribution to the various communities they serve, but to encourage further fundraising from other areas. They are a well-established society and certainly could do this very thing.

Peninsula Celebrations Society did not get all the funding they requested and in fact a very small amount was given to them, much less than half of what Peninsula Streams received.

Peninsula Celebrations arranged the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Dominion Brook park, the Canada Day parade and fun days, the Summer Sounds at the bandstand, the Christmas parade, the volunteer appreciation lunch and many other events, all while collecting funds and supplies for the food bank. To reduce this organization to just a float is very mean spirited and just plain wrong.

Both organizations serve the public well and who can say one is more important than the other? Sometimes we all need a little fun in our lives and Peninsula Celebrations provides this for our families and children.

I hope I do not get too old to enjoy a parade, art, or music. These all make for a well-rounded vibrant community inclusive to all, young and old.

Conny McBride

North Saanich councillor