New funding for conservation, public safety boosts community programs

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Non-profits are receiving more than $11 million from B.C.’s Community Gaming Grants to boost conservation and public safety programs that will benefit British Columbians around the province.

“Our government is committed to supporting local organizations involved in a wide variety of activities that contribute to building vibrant, healthy communities,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “This funding ensures community organizations can continue to provide programming to enhance public safety through emergency programs like search and rescue, and to steward and preserve our ecosystems for generations to come.”

The Province is providing about $4.8 million to 138 environmental organizations in 2020-21. These programs will create opportunities for people to learn about, connect with and protect nature.

Some of the organizations receiving funding this year include:

  • Prince George Recycling and Environmental Action Planning Society: $26,000
  • Paws for Hope Animal Foundation in Maple Ridge: $65,000
  • Wildlife Rescue Association of British Columbia: $140,000
  • Discovery Passage Aquarium Society in Campbell River: $24,000

“The Community Gaming Grant provides vital funding that enables Wildlife Rescue, a national leader in wildlife rehabilitation, to respond to over 28,000 calls from communities across the province and treat 5,000 injured wild animals annually,” said Cheryl Churney, chair, board of directors, Wildlife Rescue Association of BC. “As demand for our services continues to grow, the grant is especially important to ensure continued access for all British Columbians.”

In 2020-21, 132 not-for-profit organizations providing emergency and lifesaving services are receiving approximately $6.3 million to deliver their programs provincewide. These community-led programs include search and rescue, disaster relief and emergency preparedness resources.

Organizations receiving funding this year include:

  • British Columbia Search Dog Association: $106,000
  • Fraser Region Community Justice Initiatives Association: $25,000
  • Kaslo Search and Rescue: $75,000
  • Horsefly Volunteer Fire Department: $38,000

“Call volume has doubled for search and rescue services in the Kootenays within the last couple of years. This funding will help with replacing and upgrading equipment, and our ongoing training, which helps us respond to calls safely, more efficiently and effectively,” said Stefan Lettrari, president, Kaslo Search and Rescue. “We are very grateful for the B.C. Community Gaming Grant as it allows us to continue offering our professional rescue services to everyone in the Kootenay region.”

Community Gaming Grants provide approximately $140 million each year to support nearly 5,000 not-for-profit organizations that deliver services to people throughout British Columbia.

A full list of environment and public safety grant recipients is available here:

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