TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK
On Sept. 2, the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society presented a quick synopsis of our objectives to the Capital Regional District’s Finance Committee as part of an application to the CRD for a grant of $35,000 for our pilot project. Several members of the CRD’s Planning, Transportation and Protective Services Committee had encouraged us to apply after our presentation to them in July.
While many members of the Finance Committee also voiced support for our work, they weren’t able to identify a current mechanism that the majority could support. Longstanding CRD policy prohibits “regional grants-in-aid”. A single exception was made in 2013 for a $1.2 million grant to the Island Corridor Foundation.
Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins proposed that an exception also be made for the UWSS, but that motion was defeated, however Director John Ranns (Metchosin) expressed his hope that the CRD could find ways to partner with and support the UWSS initiative financially, and Director Judy Brownoff (Saanich) invited the UWSS to apply to Saanich for a grant.
A number of members of the Finance Committee suggested that it might be time to review the CRD policy on grants-in-aid to determine whether a fund to support regional initiatives such as the UWSS pilot project should be created. Mayor Desjardins’ motion to review that policy was then passed.
We will continue to look for ways to work with CRD directors and staff to seek creative solutions for funding.
The UWSS will also continue to seek funding and support from a variety of sources including community members, organizations, and individual municipalities who have expressed interest in working with us. Stay tuned…