The Town of View Royal will be making a $10,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross in support of its aid efforts in Ukraine.
Council approved the donation at a meeting Tuesday night, with the funds coming from the town’s existing grants in aid budget. In addition to the donation from the town, Couns. Ron Mattson and Damian Kowalewich pledged to give next month’s council stipend, worth $1,500 each, to the aid organization.
“Given what is happening in Ukraine and the needs there, council decided to make this donation,” said Mattson. “Whatever small amount that I can do to help, I just thought it was time, especially when we are so fortunate to live where we live and to be so safe.”
The federal government is matching donations made by Canadians to the Red Cross until March 18 (up to a maximum of $10 million), which Mattson said was a key reason why the town chose to support that organization in particular. Council is also challenging other municipalities in the Greater Victoria region to make donations in support of Ukraine.
Both Mattson and Kowalewich have family ties to Ukraine. Mattson’s grandparents are from Ukraine and more recently, he visited Odessa on the country’s Black Sea coast and quickly fell in love.
“Odessa is an incredibly beautiful city and it is hard to believe now it could be bombed into nothingness. It’s been horrific seeing what is happening. It is shocking to see a modern city get blown up like we are seeing.”