Big Lakes postpones CRC funding request

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County has postponed any decision to respond to a funding request from the Children’s Resource Council in High Prairie to support more programs and community events.

At its regular meeting, Feb. 14, Big Lakes council approved a motion by South Sunset House – Gilwood Councillor Ann Stewart to receive the report for information.

Council has historically not provided operational funding to the CRC county, grants officer Samantha Smith told council.

“Council did approve sponsorship funding most recently in 2017,” Smith said.

Council also approved capital grant funding in 2014 for the CRC’s new building – its current home on 51 Ave. beside the Legion.

CRC executive director Naal Sharkawi promoted the programs and services and explained funding struggles to Big Lakes County council at its regular meeting Jan. 10.

“We are not looking for funding for one time, but recurring funding from Big Lakes,” Sharkawi requested.

He said the CRC receives core funding from the provincial and federal governments, which is designated for programming only.

Funding hasn’t increased for several years as costs and expenses rise, he noted.

Federal funding support hasn’t increased in six years.

“We have access to so many grants, but they are mostly program-based,” said Sharkawi.

He added the CRC is requesting funding for a planned street fair, food for events, utilities and phone and Internet services.

Lesser Slave Lake MLA Scott Sinclair supports the CRC request for funding.

“I wholeheartedly endorse the Children’s Resource Council’s application for an operating grant from Big Lakes County,” Sinclair stated in a letter of support for the CRC.

“To ensure the success, growth and learning of our children, it is essential to provide them with access to programs and resources.”

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