Cumberland backs Legion’s application
Council for the Village of Cumberland is getting behind a plan to look into the number of homeless veterans in the Comox Valley and Oceanside regions.
They passed a motion to support a Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 application to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for funding to conduct a count.
Also at the meeting in late February, Cumberland supported funding support for up to $3,000 for the project through the village’s community grant program budget. The decision followed a presentation at a previous meeting by Bill Webb, service officer from the Courtenay Legion, and Qualicum council member Scott Harrison. At the Feb. 8 meeting, they said they had identified and documented 14 homeless veterans in the community.
“We believe they’re under-represented in that homeless count,” Webb told council.
The proposed project is a response to a federal government announcement from 2019 about funding for a national housing strategy.
Council extends CBA grant
Last year, the Cumberland Business Association applied to the village for a $4,000 grant to help its start-up and establish its revenue sources ultimately through commercial property taxes. It has been funded through membership drives so far.
To help it into its second year, council has agreed to extend the 2020 grant for the same amount through to the end of December 2021.
The CBA submitted a grant report at the end of January, saying it had used the seed money to look into the creation of the organization and that it had only spent a little over $1,650. It is currently finalizing its memorandum of understanding with the village. It started in March 2020, setting up as a society, drafting bylaws and establishing a board structure.
The association has requested an extension for funding as it sets out a master plan covering its values, governance, staffing, management structure and budget.
In its first year, the CBA has worked on initiatives such as the #LoveCumberland brand, a downtown map resource, the Cumberland Business Directory and public art initiatives.
Support for fire fighting request
Council has agreed to sign a letter representing small communities of fewer than 5,000 people asking the provincial government to help them with the costs for fire service.
Mayor Leslie Baird has sat on an ad hoc committee made up mostly of other mayors from small communities on Vancouver Island. The process was initiated by Mayor Dennis Dugas of Port Hardy, who had contacted Cumberland, among others, about the burden that small communities face in covering fire equipment costs.
“It is time that all the small communities in our province make their voices heard loud and clear that we cannot sustain fire protection services without provincial financial support,” he wrote in his request to Cumberland in November 2020.
The mayors’ letter is directed to Minister of Municipal Affairs Josie Osborne and will ask the province to provide funds for essential local fire and road rescue services.