Positive Living BC, formerly BC Persons with AIDS Society, has recently recouped budget funds previously cut by the province, an organization spokesperson says.
The organization had been approved for $160,000 — $50,000 less than the $210,000 it had originally requested.
Positive Living BC has now been told it will receive the additional $50,000 denied as a result of cuts announced by former social development minister Rich Coleman prior to the government cabinet shuffle under new BC Premier Christy Clark.
Clark announced in March that $15 million in charitable gaming grants would float back into arts groups’ coffers. The money awarded to Positive Living BC was part of that announcement.
“We’re very pleased to hear the announcement,” says Adam Reibin, communications director for Positive Living BC. “It means that we are going in to the next fiscal year as we originally planned,” he says, with the $50,000 earmarked for Living Positive magazine, a publication distributed by the organization.
Reibin says the organization has spent its entire budget and has been relying on the reimbursement to enter the next fiscal year deficit-free. “We’ll be cautious about the amount we ask for next year,” he notes, adding that political uncertainty regarding grants has made the group wary of the grant application process.
“They don’t know what their future holds,” agrees NDP arts and culture critic Spencer Chandra Herbert. “You’ve got to have respect for these charities and their volunteers,” he maintains.
Chandra Herbert called the state of gaming-grant funding throughout the province “incredibly unstable.”
While he’s pleased that funds are trickling back into the province’s non-profit organizations, Chandra Herbert contends that the move to reinstate $15 million back into charitable organizations from the $36 million cut by the Gordon Campbell government “looks like just another political game.”
Attempts to reach the premier’s office for comment were unsuccessful.