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Funding denied for Sarah Beckett Memorial Run but Langford to give ‘in-kind’ support

The provincial government has stepped in to help fund the event
City of Langford Coun. Colby Harder said that the City of Langford will be providing ‘in-kind’ support to the Sarah Beckett Memorial Run. (Black Press Media file photo)

Despite funding not being approved for the Sarah Beckett Memorial Run, the City of Langford will still provide ‘in-kind’ support.

According to Councillor Colby Harder, Langford will be waiving $2,535 in fees and permits required to use Starlight Stadium for the event happening on May 12.

Controversy erupted following the decision not to supply further funding for the event as the application was submitted after the deadline. According to Harder, the decision falls in line with current policy guidelines.

The previous year’s application had been received before the deadline, but the group had chosen to redistribute funds to other organizations.

“Unfortunately, it is not permitted within our policy. So, that was part of the discussion during the initial debate amongst the committee to add this item to the agenda.”

Harder had called a press conference at Langford City Hall to clear the air about the decision and that the municipality would still be honouring the service of Constable Beckett, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2016.

“The city is still supportive of this event. But unfortunately, the policy that we have in place doesn’t speak to funding.”

The family has yet to be contacted about the decision, but the city will contact groups who were not successful in receiving funding to let them know.

“It’s unchanged between the two years with a courtesy follow-up to say, ‘Thank you for your application. We would encourage you to apply again next year.”

Harder said the focus needs to be on the positivity surrounding the event and not trying to politicize something that is meant to bring people together after the tragic death of Officer Beckett.

According to a Tweet from Ravi Parmar, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca, the provincial government has stepped in to provide $2,500 to compensate for the funding shortfall.

Parmar said that he had reached out to the family and that it would be an excellent way for the community to come together.

People can sign up on March 1 and Parmar will be there himself.

“I will be there. But I need to get in better shape for the 5 km run.”

Organizers of the Sarah Beckett Memorial Run said in a statement that they do not want to comment on the decision made by the council but encourage everyone to sign up for the run.

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