Council denies grant to SRTA

Sooke Region Tourism Association left without annual fee for service

It was two against four in a vote that saw the Sooke Region Tourism Association (SRTA) lose their fee for service grant of $23,000.

At council on April 22, four councillors voted to deny the grant as conditions of the application were not met.

At issue was the fact that council and the Grant Review Committee felt SRTA had not supplied documentation of where the previous grant monies were spent.

Coun. Maja Tait made the motion to table the item for one month as she was now the council liaison with SRTA.  She stated there was a “serious disconnect in communication.” Councillor and acting mayor Coun. Kevin Pearson supported Tait’s motion. The motion was defeated.

“SRTA needs to understand council is responsible to the taxpayer,” said Pearson.

The new policy and guidelines for Service Agreement grants were developed to ensure full disclosure of where taxpayer funded grants were being spent.

Each of the councillors; Bev Berger, Herb Haldane, Kerrie Reay and Rick Kasper stated they wanted accountability, receipts and transparency.

After the vote, a frustrated and angry Frederique Philip approached the podium and was told she was “out of order.”

“I know I’m out of order, but you are all out of order!” said Philip.

At the Committee of the Whole meeting, directly following the council meeting, SRTA president Jonathan Heerema said  they had provided all the information requested by staff.

“If they don’t have it, staff didn’t request it,” he said.

He said he “hated the thought of tourism in the area and SRTA going down the toilet.”

Heerema said he was the expert on sales, marketing and destination marketing and he was doing it for free.

“I’m as good as you’re going to get. I’m trying as best as I can to promote this town… I’m severely disappointed.”

Just Posted

Temperature records broken in Esquimalt Harbour and four other B.C. cities

The last temperature record in Esquimalt Harbour was set in 1999

Shoebox Project reaches out to women in crisis

Boxes are distributed to transition homes

Pearkes book sale will have 15,000 titles

Some seek volume of books while others hunt early editions in annual Saanich sale

Colwood mayor pitches ferry as commuter alternative

Mayor Rob Martin says different modes of transportation need to be considered

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Road rescue near Sayward points to volunteer need

Fire department recruits can be tough for small, remote communities

Most Read