Editorial: Council takes a hard stand

Can denial of service agreement grant to SRTA be remedied?

In this day and age, it seems everyone has their hand out. There are so many groups needing money and so few pockets to get it from.

At council on Monday night, four out of six councillors voted to deny a service agreement grant to the Sooke Region Tourism Association. The association was asking for $23,000, council was asking for some accountability. It seems neither got what they wanted and the situation is now pretty sour. When it comes to spending taxpayer money, asking for accountability as part of the process is not too much to ask. Everyone has receipts, or at least they should have, if not for council at least for the tax man. Being stubborn and having an attitude of entitlement doesn’t wash with this council.

There was a day when advertising paid for most of the brochures, rack cards and maps given out by any tourism group. Now, it seems it is easier and less hassle just to apply for a grant.

It is true that at least one business got “subsidized” with taxpayer money and there are three people on council who voted on it during the last term.

Council needs to ensure all businesses are treated fairly and equally, but they do not need to guarantee that money will come their way if they don’t play by the rules. It may be a misunderstanding or miscommunication and there was the opportunity to remedy that. Maybe there still is.

As one resident who came forward during the Committee of the Whole meeting said, “what is Plan B?”