A bureaucratic process means regional cash is being pumped into Vernon’s Canada Day festivities.
While only five of 13 board members voted to provide $2,000 to the Vernon Canada Day committee Wednesday, the motion succeeded because the city’s four representatives have the bulk of weighted votes on financial matters (Coldstream’s director also endorsed the expenditure).
“It takes place in Polson Park but it’s a regional function and everyone is invited,” said Catherine Lord, Vernon director.
However, those from other communities disagreed that their tax dollars should go to Vernon’s celebration.
“For Canada Day in Vernon, Vernon should provide for it just as in Lumby, Lumby provides for it,” said Kevin Acton, village director.
A similar response also came from Spallumcheen director Janice Brown.
“Our Armstrong-Spallumcheen people attend our park,” she said.
Shirley Fowler, Armstrong director, pointed out that the funding request has come at the last minute two years in a row.
“There’s less than a month to Canada Day,” she said.
Lord countered the comments by clarifying that a volunteer committee organizes Canada Day in Vernon.
“The city contributes a significant amount to it.”
Opposition to the $2,000 came from the two electoral area directors in Greater Vernon.
“I contribute to the BX-Swan Lake fireworks display (at Halloween),” said Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director.
RDNO has provided funding to the Canada Day event in Vernon over the years and the organizing committee has been rebuilding since the death of member Patrick Nicol, who was also RDNO chairperson, in 2014.
“I understand the group has had troubles organizing but how long is long enough – two years, three years, five years?” said Bob Fleming, BX-Swan Lake director.
The District of Coldstream has just received a funding request for Canada Day in Polson Park but no decision has been made yet. It provided a grant in 2014.
RDNO staff will bring back a report on possibly creating a funding service for Canada Day services in Vernon or region-wide.