Coun. Zeb King said council is not acting fast enough to help individuals struggling with economic effects of COVID-19. (Black Press Media File)

Coun. Zeb King said council is not acting fast enough to help individuals struggling with economic effects of COVID-19. (Black Press Media File)

Central Saanich councillor criticizes colleagues for being too slow with grants

Coun. Zeb King takes peers to task after council rejects his notice of motion

One Central Saanich councillor feels council is not acting fast enough to help those struggling with the economic effects of COVID-19.

Coun. Zeb King made that comment after council voted against his notice of motion that would have asked staff to consult with the Farmland Trust Society (FLT) about using some of the $3.45 million the municipality received through a joint federal-provincial program designed to help municipalities deal with the effects of COVID-19.

“This is certainly not a rapid response to helping the needy and it fails to show leadership on the part of the [council],” he said. “Instead, the council wants to punt this to a slow staff allocation process that might provide $7,500 max.”

King suggested individuals need help now, not later.

Couns. Carl Jensen, Gordon Newtown, Niall Paltiel, and Bob Thompson voted against the motion with Coun. Chris Graham absent.

King acknowledged the society can apply for funding up to a maximum of $7,500 and only once council has formally approved a larger pot of $50,000 for grants. King had pushed for a large figure.

Council earlier signed off on language that would allow non-profits to apply for support. Staff told the public at the time that the municipality had developed these figures on the basis of its own grant-in-aid program as well as developments in other communities with the addendum that groups can apply for more than $7,500 subject to council approval. A motion by Newtown to lower the limit to $5,000 failed.

RELATED: Central Saanich to spell out options for financially supporting Panorama Recreation Centre

While King encouraged the society to apply, he added that he would have liked to have seen a “grander vision to help people by helping FLT in a bigger way.”

The self-described mission of the society includes “producing food for those in need” among other goals. The central mean of this mandate is the ‘field to plate’ initiative that sees the growing of food on Newman Farm for what King’s notice of motion describes as Greater Victoria’s “most vulnerable, including people struggling with homelessness, mental health challenges, substance use issues, the working poor, and impoverished elderly.”

Opponents of King’s motion did not comment on the substance, but rather the process. Newtown wondered why council should ask staff to talk with the society before any prior application and Thompson said he would have voted for language that asked staff to inform the society. Jensen argued that King’s motion would have politicized the process around the grant.

“Are we going to extend the courtesy [of reaching out] to every non-profit in Central Saanich?” asked Jensen.

King pointed out that council had approved the application process before his notice of motion. It should have appeared before council more than a month ago, but a snow storm cancelled the Dec. 21 meeting.

Mayor Ryan Windsor encouraged groups to apply for the funding.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

To each their own pipe. The new sewer main during staging in James Bay before it was installed in 2018, to convey waste to the McLoughlin Point treatment facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
‘End in sight,’ for Victoria’s annual sewage overflows

Wastewater projects underway should end sewage overflows

Community members Ed Hutchinson, left, Dave Noren, and Pat Graham, president of The Ladies Guild, stand before the new book house outside the Church of the Advent in Colwood. The tiny library was built as a result of the annual Church of the Advent book sale being cancelled due to COVID-19. (Submitted/Joan Hoffman)
Colwood church builds little library

Church of Advent annual book sale cancelled due to health restrictions

(Courtesy Very Good Butchers)
Very Good Butchers brand adds cheese to its platter

The Cultured Nut products to be rebranded under Very Good Cheese banner

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made at Kennametal’s Langford site

The Greater Victoria plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

In 2020, Saanich firefighters responded to 438 fires, 1288 medical calls and prevented more than $150 million in damage. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Pandemic meant more blazes, fewer calls for Saanich firefighters in 2020

Department reports preventing $151-million in property damage

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Most Read