|Letters - Letters - General|
A kitchen in ‘any’ province Canada
Mr. & Mrs. Entrepreneur drink coffee surfing on their laptop, research where they might like to relocate and launch their cutting edge business.
MRS. E: “Oh, take a look honey. Williams Lake has some beautiful surroundings. Distinct seasons, and it looks like there’s great mountain biking. Hmmm… let’s see about the gymnastics club.”
Mrs. E. looking quizzical, typing various search terms, brows furrowed.
MRS. E: “That’s odd, a town of that size without a gymnastics club?”
MR. E: “Take a look into minor hockey. Make sure they have that at least.”
Mrs. E. gasps in horror, and spins the laptop to face Mr. E.
MR. E: “Holy @#% those ice fees are outrageous! How can an average income afford that?”
The above may be a work of fiction, but soon this could be our reality. The future of sporting groups and many community service organizations in Williams Lake is uncertain, and in some cases dire.
The provincial government has recently changed the application process for gaming funds. The three year affiliation is now a one year grant. This does not allow organizations the stability to plan, or to leverage other funding opportunities. The timing of these changes leaves some organizations such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters eleven months without funding to support existing mentoring matches, and no guarantee of any future funding.
I have spoken to many cultural, social service and sports groups regarding the impacts of these changes. Trudy Rick of the gymnastics club stated, “We’ll be closing our doors.” The Station House Gallery is facing the same fate. Sheila Wyse, a volunteer with the Museum reports that without gaming funds they will have to consider all options such as cutting hours and limiting tours. Nancy Gale, Executive Director of the Child Development Centre will be cutting: Horse-back riding program, Community Garden, Swim program, Yuletide Community Dinner, Christmas Wish Breakfast, Pre-school, and Youth Street Workers. These are just a few examples of the many programs that will discontinue, or become so expensive they will be out of reach for many families.
According to the BC Lottery Corporations annual report for 2009/2010 Signal Point Casino revenues were $13,460,000. Approximately $873,000 was returned to support your ice fees, school playgrounds, children’s programs. This was significantly lower than the funds allocated in the previous cycle. There continues to be a steady erosion of services to you, your parents and your children.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters
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