Eligible applicants continue to receive grants



I am writing to assure your readers about the timing and priorities for gaming grants for local non-profit organizations (Groups ‘suffering’ due to gaming grant changes, Jan. 25).

Eligible applicants continue to receive notification and payment of grants on a regular schedule.

For example, grants to eligible public safety groups went out at the end of November 2010, and human and social services sector grant notification will occur by the beginning of March.

In 2010/11, funding is focused on groups addressing public safety, youth, people with disabilities, social services for people in need, and education.

In all, an estimated 6,000 community groups will receive $120 million in gaming grants this year — more than $7 million more than in 2009/10, when the province was experiencing fiscal pressures due to world-wide economic concerns.

For the year ahead, the overall allocation for community gaming grants remains stable at $120 million, and the eligibility criteria are unchanged, so there is no reason to speculate that groups who were successful this year will be denied next year.

While it is true that Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Williams Lake will next be able to apply for gaming funding in August 2011, they are among groups transitioning between grant programs.

Because of this, they may request an advance payment at that time, based on their group’s needs.

Rich Coleman

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

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