Council Decides on Community Grants for 2022

Today, Council started their line-by-line review of the 2022 budget but one relatively small item gets a lot of attention.  The maximum for Community Grants for 2022 was somewhat arbitrarily set at a total of $30k but applications totaled $92K so a lot of pruning was needed.  Before the meeting, Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin and Councillor Adam Bureau worked together to do the pruning and their recommendations totaled $29,544. Many of the “grants” were in fact “in kind” – that is, no cash would be changing hands but instead fees normally charged by the Town would be waived.  The two main examples were fees to rent the Concert Hall and parking fees around Victoria Park, primarily for members of the Bowling Club.

On November 8, some organizations decided to make a presentation to Council to sell their case but there seems to be no correlation between doing that and getting approved.

Note that Nicole Beatty wanted two organizations to get more than the amounts recommended by Adam and Suzanne and made motions to that effect.  To keep the total less than $30K, she had some grants adjusted down. Her motions were approved. Here is the table showing approved amounts; I’ve added extra information.

Organization (and if they presented to Council) 2021 Appr’d 2022 Request Recom-
mended
2022 Appr’d
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northumberland No 0 5,000 0 1,000
Cobourg & District Historical Society Yes 1,517 2,328 1,800 1,800
Cobourg Ecology Garden Yes 2,314 2,299 2,000 2,000
Cobourg Highland Games No 0 13,100 806 806
Cobourg Lawn Bowling Club Yes 5,500 5,500 5,500 5,500
Cobourg Museum Foundation – Capital Grant No 0 3,600 500 500
Cobourg Museum Foundation – Property Taxes No 4,300 4,400 4,000 4,000
Community Care Northumberland Yes 2,000 5,000 1,000 1,500
Film Access Northumberland (Eye2Eye) Yes 0 3,000 1,500 1,000
Horizon of Friendship Yes 0 1,000 0 0
La Jeunesse Choirs No 2,000 2,000 1,000 1,000
Les Amis Yes 2,000 3,000 1,500 1,000
Northumberland 89.7 FM – Small Town Radio Yes 1,300 1,300 800 800
Northumberland Festival of the Arts Yes 0 4,360 1,100 1,100
Northumberland Hills Studio Tour No 0 1,000 0 0
Northumberland Oral Health Coalition Yes 0 500 250 250
Northumberland Orchestra No 0 5,000 1,000 1,000
Northumberland New Ventures Band Yes 750 1,000 500 500
Oriana Singers No 0 3,000 0 0
OSGA 55+ Games No 0 250 250 250
PARN (your community AIDS Resource Network No 0 2,000 0 0
SONG – Sounds of The Next Generation No 2,000 2,500 0 0
Sustainable Cobourg Yes 0 5,000 0 0
The Rose Quest Personal Care Initiative Yes 0 3,000 250 0
Victoria Hall Volunteers Yes 5,000 4,788 4,788 4,788
Victorian Operetta Society (VOS) No 0 8,000 1,000 1,000

Totals

28,681 91,925 29,544 29,794

When Nicole asked for changes, there was no discussion.  Other Councillors seemed to be happy with the work that Suzanne and Adam had done in making the hard decisions.

Once the budgets are finally approved, the grant recipients will be advised of the above together with whether it was cash or “in kind” and what the money is for. If the grant was denied, the reason given will be “Insufficient funds”.

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Rae Waring
27 November 2021 11:46 am

Song helps the low income family kids develop some social skills but that doesnt appear to interest the town council.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Rae Waring
27 November 2021 9:47 pm

Mr Waring

I would caution you and others to be careful when criticizing Council until you find out more detail such as the purpose of SONG’s request and why it was declined.

SONG is an exceptional organization that offers three music programmes for young people with some goals similar to those of Big Brothers, Big Sisters. With an annual budget of approximately $80,000 it is operated almost exclusively by volunteers and involves 80 to 100 young people at any one time. Under certain conditions they can qualify for a free musical instrument.

Yes Council should help out when necessary but more importantly and in general, individual citizens should do so by whatever means they can. I have included a modest bequest in my Will.

Last edited 7 days ago by Keith Oliver
Merle Gingrich
26 November 2021 4:09 pm

Koodos to A.L.M, you got the talking heads displaying their lack of understanding.👍

A.L.M
26 November 2021 9:15 am

Just at first glance, it appears the council is supporting more tourism/aesthetic service rather than supporting the community that funds these grants. I don’t understand how you can declare a climate emergency just years ago and then not provide any funding to sustainability or ecological projects. Simply providing more funding to the bowling club for parking is a prime example of “yes drive to the club and do so for free rather than us encouraging you to walk/bike/commute”. Secondly, organizations that give back to the community including menstrual products (which by the way should not be luxury), AIDS assistance, supporting migrants got little funding from the council but the film, music, and festivals received funding with no problem.

Let me know if I’m misinformed but this is ridiculous and speaks volumes about how the council is all lip service and just wants to be the prettiest town in Ontario rather than dealing with the crises facing the community.

Informed
Reply to  A.L.M
26 November 2021 10:10 am

I dont believe the items you mentioned are a crisis facing this community. Kudos to council. Most grants were truly community oriented. The items you metioned are more global issues in my opinion. Not everyone walks away happy. Thats life.

A.L.M
Reply to  Informed
26 November 2021 10:18 am

The CPL library was literally holding a menstrual product donation day a few months back…so yeah I’d say the women’s shelter would beg to differ. It’d be great if the council when in 50% and had the county come in the other 50%. Climate change is a big issue globally and at a community level so having more informed environmentalists assisting council in making more informed decisions cause let me tell you the municipality does not give a hoot about climate considering they don’t separate recycling in municipal buildings or offer compostable options. The waste downtown and the could be better if they had a better system I could go on but I don’t have a background in this. Yes, tourism funds stuff in town (or so they say) but take care of your people before taking care of tourists.

Gerald Childs
Reply to  A.L.M
26 November 2021 10:27 am

Four hour and thirty-minute journey, one way on a pedal bike from Lyndsay to Cobourg for a bowling tournament, would be a tiring trip. Bowl the game, which lasts about five hours, then pedal back. The out-of-town teams already car-pool and members within walking distance of Cobourg Club walk, some ride a pedal bike, some car-pool. I think the club is doing well being mindful of its carbon footprint. In fairness, maybe you should speak to the club president before making claims that are not accurate.

Last edited 9 days ago by Gerald Childs
A.L.M
Reply to  Gerald Childs
26 November 2021 10:46 am

And as I said, I may be misinformed and acknowledge my unawareness. However, it’s not necessarily what the club does for climate change but rather how the town continuously ignores environmental/sustainability issues. There are towns and cities doing so much more and Cobourg is always late to the game or never even gets there. The town can do so much more though to encourage fewer vehicle emissions for a variety of clubs, organizations, and events.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  A.L.M
26 November 2021 12:33 pm

how the town continuously ignores environmental/sustainability issues.”

Aside from the Cobourg Ecology Garden, you should know that unsafe trees that are cut down on Town property are milled and recycled into park benches and picnic tables.

The Town also has a fulltime arborist to take care of the health of Cobourg’s tree canopy. Not every community has a fulltime arborist. You can bet your children that our Town arborist is highly trained, an expert concerning best practices which certainly includes not just the health and sustainability of our tree canopy, but to strengthen it and expand it.

Cobourg Parks and Rec produce a Blue Flag beach year after year, meeting the environmental standards, and possibly exceeding it from time. This lets our children frolic on a safe and clean beach.

Cobourg recently completed, with best practices, a flood reservoir off Kerr St, west of Division. This flood reservoir is a rough and raw meadow, with Cobourg Creek winding back and forth and trees to prevent erosion. The trees are junior but it will be splendid with maturity. A meadow! In the middle of town. A great place for a child to chase butterflies.

There’s more, of course.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  A.L.M
26 November 2021 10:46 am

how you can declare a climate emergency just years ago and then not provide any funding to sustainability or ecological projects.

The Cobourg Ecology Garden got $2000. That Garden is a sustainable role model for the entire community. It acts as concierge to the natural west beach meadow. It acts as sentry to the natural west beach meadow. It’s not just a pretty site. Aside from the volunteers who tend it, the Garden also engages students earning social credits, learning and practicing sustainability. Over the years the Garden has hosted talks, eg, a while back Rory Quigley, town arborist, spoke to a full garden. On another occasion the garden hosted a monarch butterfly display for school children and lucky, they got to see a Monarch emerge from a chrysalis. The Cobourg Ecology Garden is a designated Monarch Butterfly Way Station. TREE SPEECH FOR FORESTS!

cornbread
Reply to  A.L.M
26 November 2021 2:59 pm

If you look closely at your latest gas bill from Enbridge, you will see that the Carbon Tax + HST is now more than your cost of Gas (before transport & storage etc). Just about everyone in Cobourg is paying this carbon tax…so I guess you can say we are funding climate change in a big way…and where is the open book on where all the Carbon Tax money collected by the Feds is being spent? The Carbon Tax is a regressive tax…it hurts the little and middle class more than the big money earners in the country.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  cornbread
26 November 2021 11:04 pm

Cornbread … or who ever you are!

The carbon tax is not a regressive tax, it is a neutral tax. As a result of a carbon tax, corporations pass on their added costs to the consumer. The funds collected by governments are then refunded to each individual at income tax time. British Columbia was the first to do this some 5 to 8 years go and the system has proved itself fair and effective.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
27 November 2021 9:15 am

the system has proved itself fair and effective.

What metrics exist that indicate it was “fair” and “effective.”

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Wally Keeler
27 November 2021 9:50 am

Hi Wally

Do the research. It’s all there.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
27 November 2021 10:03 am

Amazing how condescendingly smug you are. Ask a sincere question and earn this sort of disrespect. Thanks for your generous reply.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
27 November 2021 3:28 pm

My research found this In British Columbia, Carbon Emissions Rise Despite the Increasing Carbon Tax – IER (instituteforenergyresearch.org)

“Carbon dioxide emissions are going up in British Columbia, despite the province having the highest carbon tax in Canada. According to a government document, taxpayers in British Columbia paid over $14 billion in carbon taxes while the province’s carbon dioxide emissions increased by 11 percent in four years—from 59.2 million metric tons in 2015 to 65.7 million metric tons in 2019. In 2021, B.C. taxpayers are expected to pay almost an additional $2 billion in carbon taxes.”

You are promoting failure, Mr Oliver

Last edited 7 days ago by Wally Keeler
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
27 November 2021 3:34 pm

I did some more research and found this SIMS: B.C. emissions going up — despite carbon tax | Toronto Sun

“Put plainly: carbon taxes are an expensive failure in B.C.”

Last edited 7 days ago by Wally Keeler
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
27 November 2021 3:40 pm

And this B.C. greenhouse gas emissions up 5%, not counting forest offsets – Comox Valley Record

As B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman leads a delegation to Scotland for the annual United Nations climate summit next week, the province has released its latest greenhouse gas inventory showing emissions continue to rise.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
27 November 2021 9:50 am

Keith, the carbon tax may be designed as revenue neutral for Canada overall but it is not neutral in its impact on specific taxpayers. Further, in the newspeak English used by today’s caring and concerned, any tax that is not progressive is termed “regressive”. Consider the GST/HST for an obvious example of a neutral tax commonly characterized as “regressive”.

Anne Celia Weedon
Reply to  A.L.M
26 November 2021 8:57 pm

I totally agree with you. The Lawn Bowling Club above climate issues? Unbelievable

cornbread
26 November 2021 8:35 am

Congratulations Suzanne & Adam!