CVRD waives policy to help fund two groups

The Cowichan Valley Regional District board decided last Wednesday to waive their new regional grants-in-aid policy to continue to provide funding to a couple of non-profit organizations for 2015.

“The committee was evenly divided,” reported North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure from the grant-in-aid subcommittee, which had failed to choose between two funding options for the upcoming year.

The board easily broke a deadlock, rejecting the option of simply notifying Cowichan Green Community and the Cowichan Valley Arts Council of the July change in policy that now finds them ineligible for a regional grant-in-aid, and forcing them to go to each electoral area and municipal unit individually for grant support. Both organizations have recieved support from the CVRD in the form of a regional grant-in-aid for a number of years.

“I think we can see very clear benefits to the work that they are doing,” said Duncan Mayor Phil Kent.

“Both these organizations have a significant regional impact,” agreed Lefebure. “This is what we are here for.”

Dir. Barb Lines said she sees this as providing a bridge through a transition period from one policy to another.

“We do not want to leave these people out hanging there for a year,” she concluded.

The decision will give the district time to create an annual financial contribution service, which would go into effect in 2016, for both organizations through the alternative approval process.