An estimated 70 people attended a forum in Campbell River, B.C., Thursday evening to weigh in on provincial gaming grants.
The meeting was the first in a series of B.C. Gaming Grant Review forums taking place across the province.
Those at the meeting said the provincial government needs to fix the way it distributes gaming funds to charities and non-profit groups, saying funding cuts and changing government policy have left them scrambling to make sense of the system.
“Clear, consistent guidelines with adequate lead-in times for communications would be very very helpful so that we could successfully fulfill the requirements,” said Barbara Prowse, the musical director of the Campbell River Children’s Choir.
“And also having guidelines that remained in place over time and didn’t change would be very very helpful.”
Lesia Davis with the Campbell River Museum echoed the call for greater consistency from government.
“In the last two years we have received various messages and as others have said, it depends who you speak to. You might get three different answers in the same day.”
Local fundraiser Robyn Ellsworth added that the provincial government takes too much of the gaming revenue.
“Legislation should be brought in so gaming funding can only be used for community groups, and not be taken away by government to be used for other programs like the Olympics.”
Several speakers also called for longer-term funding and a more simplified application process.
The community forums head to Nanaimo on Friday and Victoria on Sept. 8.