Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Concern about Rural Dividend Program vis-a-vis Electoral Areas

Back on July 28th on this year - I wrote to BC Premier Christy Clark, in my capacity as the Electoral Area 'D' Director of the Cariboo Regional District, respectfully requesting that changes be made to the Rural Dividend program whereby there should be separate and equal funding allocations for Electoral Areas and Muncipalities, given their issues are different & unique ($12.5 million for Electoral Areas and $12.5 million for qualifying Muncipalities = $25 million per year for next 3 years)

Non-Profits/First Nations would then apply to that distinct funding envelope, depending on their location

This past Monday - Mr. David Borth, Executive Director of the BC Rural Secretariat based in Kamloops wrote a response to my letter on behalf of BC Premier Christy Clark

My letter along the response from Mr. Borth can be viewed below:

The Cariboo Regional District Board (Board) has already agreed to have a broad discussion on this program at the request of Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson at our September 22nd Committee of the Whole meeting in Wells and I will be asking the CRD Board at our August 26th meeting to consider inviting Mr. Tom Hoffman as a local resident who currently sits on the BC Rural Advisory Council to help us understand why the BC Rural Dividend program criteria was drafted the way it was.

The Board has already discussed concerns with the Rural Dividend program with Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett earlier this year so hopefully Mr. Hoffman, should the Board authorize his attendance at our September COW Meeting, can further clarify aspects of the Rural Dividend program criteria like why money leveraging is all but not allowed except for use of the Community Works Funding along with small community capital projects are all but not allowed except in very limited circumstances

Unless there are considerable changes to this program that makes applying to this program useful for some of my unincorporated communities like McLeese/Tyee Lake and Wildwood - as an Electoral Area Director, I can't encourage my local communities to apply to this program as the Rural Dividend seems to be only geared towards money for studying things, rather than funding of small community projects which is what my Electoral Area needs at this time, particularly for the unincorporated communities of McLeese Lake, Tyee Lake, and Wildwood

Editor's Note -- this blog post is my own opinion and is not reflective of the Cariboo Regional District, its' Board of Directors, Staff and Volunteers 


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