City of Duncan denies four grant requests under COVID-19 program

City of Duncan denies four grant requests under COVID-19 program

To date, just three of nine requests accepted

The City of Duncan has turned down the latest four requests for funding from its COVID-19 grant program.

The city set up a grant program earlier this year in which it set aside $100,000 from its 2020 budget so that local organizations that are supporting businesses or individuals through the health crisis can apply for grants of up to $10,000.

City council gave the green light to the first three projects at its meeting on June 15, and denied two others.

RELATED STORY: CITY OF DUNCAN ESTABLISHES GRANT PROGRAM DURING COVID-19 CRISIS

The first application at the meeting on June 29 was from Volunteer Cowichan which was asking for a grant to supply non-medical masks for city residents.

The submission from Volunteer Cowichan said that if all the city’s citizens had access to masks during the pandemic, they would feel safer frequenting businesses and amenities in Duncan, which would boost the city’s economy and morale of the people.

But Coun. Tom Duncan said the wearing of masks is not mandatory at this time, and most people in the city are not wearing them.

“The object of the program is to support local businesses and individuals during the pandemic, but there is no legal requirement to wear masks,” he said.

“I’ve not heard of any other council providing masks for their residents.”

But Coun. Jenni Capps said it makes sense to have masks more readily available. “I think there’s still a lot to be seen with this pandemic, and it has the potential to grow,” she said.

But the majority of council voted against the request, largely because it didn’t fit the criteria of the program.

RELATED STORY: PLANS UNDERWAY FOR FOOD COURT IN DUNCAN’S STATION STREET PARK

The second grant request was from the Big Brothers Big Sisters Cowichan Valley asking for funding to help create a virtual mentoring program.

The BBBSCV said its mentoring programs help youth impacted by adversity to reach their full potential, and the COVID-19 pandemic has severely restricted the meetings between mentors and mentees.

The organization said it wants to set up a virtual mentoring program as a replacement for face-to-face interaction during the pandemic, and confirmed $38,000 for the initiative has been earmarked from other funders.

But Coun. Carol Newington said the information provided was insufficient and wanted the request deferred until more data is provided.

Coun. Duncan asked how it would benefit the city and its citizens.

Coun. Capps said she thinks there is a lot of validity to the mentoring program, but she noted the initiative is receiving funds from other sources and also requested more information.

The third request was from the Easter Seals BC/Yukon organization asking for a grant for its proposed virtual summer camp program after having to cancel its normal summer camps and activities due to the pandemic.

The organization has also applied for $60,000 for the proposal from other organizations.

Coun. Duncan said the Easter Seals’ Camp Shawnigan is in the Cowichan Valley Regional District and suggested they ask the district for financial support.

RELATED STORY: CITY OF DUNCAN APPROVES GRANT FOR 39 DAYS OF JULY

“The Easter Seals do great work, but our grant program is geared toward the city and its citizens,” he said.

The last request was from Glenora Farms asking for funding to reopen a day program for adults with disabilities, which was cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

With the funding from the city, as well as financial support from other organizations, Glenora Farms is looking to resurrect the programs using the new guidelines that are in place during the health crisis.

Once again, Coun. Duncan moved to deny the request as Glenora Farms is outside the boundaries of the city.

After denying all four funding requests, council instructed staff to have the applicants to the grant program make it clear in their submissions how their program would directly benefit Duncan and its citizens, and council added new criteria that funding would not be provided to adaptations of existing programs.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

municipal politics

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

Just Posted

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are inviting audiences into their home for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’. (Submitted)
Natalie MacMaster coming to you through Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Here’s your chance to enjoy the famed fiddler in an online show with her husband Donnell Leahy.

A picture of Bug before the attack by the dogs on Nov. 17, 2020. (Submitted photo)
Three dogs almost kill cat in Miller Road area near Duncan

Efforts to catch the canines unsuccessful so far

Beautiful morning with the sun peaking through, as viewed from Thetis Island. (Photo by Kelly Bannister)
November characterized by a record high, no snow and plenty of rain in Chemainus region

Temperature almost hits the 20 degree Celsius mark on Nov. 4

Group wants to start a pilot program for regenerative farms in North Cowichan. (File photo)
Group looks to North Cowichan for farmland

Land could also be used for affordable housing

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Most Read