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Community gaming grants to benefit environmental, public safety initiatives

Public safety and environmental initiatives on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast will benefit from funding from the province.

Community gaming grants will support 131 non-profit organizations in the public safety sector with a total $6.8 million, while $5.9 million will support 149 non-profits in the environmental sector, according to the province.

According to North Island MLA Michele Babchuk, the Campbell River area will get $293,685 for public safety and environment organizations. Babchuk notes Campbell River Search and Rescue receiving $73,000 and Friends of Cortes Society getting $28,000.

Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna Rae-Leonard says the Comox Valley area will get $396,400, noting Comox Valley Search and Rescue is getting $91,500 and Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society $65,000.

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“Keeping people safe in the outdoors is especially important in our region, with so many beautiful places to explore,” said Babchuk. “That is why we’re providing grants to North Island organizations that are promoting environmental stewardship and safety.”

Cortes Island fire chief Elijah McKenty adds the grants have been very important to improving their operations.

“The grants we have received over past years have made a very important contribution to our operational capacity,” said McKenty.

“The current funding of $100,000 for equipment and training will make a significant impact on our ability to respond to emergencies and keep our residents safe.”

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The Nanaimo area will be getting $670,000 in funding for environment non-profits and public safety organizations with Nanaimo Search and Rescue getting $97,700 and the Georgia Strait Alliance $100,000 among others.

In the Cowichan Valley, $267,000 is being given with $74,000 going to the Cowichan Green Community Society and Cowichan Search and Rescue getting $75,200 in the funding.

Powell River – Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons says just under $700,000 is coming to the region, and beneficiaries include $123,000 to the British Columbia Search Dog Association, $80,000 to the Loon Foundation, and $40,000 to the Sunshine Coast Marine Rescue Society.

Simons says funding local organizations like the Marine Rescue Society will help ensure that volunteers are ready and able to keep people safe out on the water.

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The province says 281 organizations will benefit from the funding across the province.

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