Transferring money

The system of transfer payments and grant funding from one level of government to the next is confusing to say the least.

The system of transfer payments and grant funding from one level of government to the next is confusing to say the least.

Money from the federal government moves to the provinces and provincial money is distributed to municipalities in the form of grants.

The process is complex and difficult to understand.

It is also inefficient, particularly at the municipal level.

Under the existing grant structure, communities must write grant applications in the hope of receiving some or all of the funding for a specific project.

For the province, this funding system is ideal. It is easy to show the specific projects around the province which received funding.

For mayors and councillors, it becomes more problematic.

The grant process means projects must be tailored to fit the requirements of the grants. Communities must pick and choose their projects based on the grants which are available rather than on their specific needs.

If a community has an urgent need in one area but the grant applications are for something different, the response is to put in a grant application in order to receive some of the available money.

At its worst, this could mean a community gets unneeded upgrades in one area while another area is neglected.

Over the years, Summerland has put in plenty of funding applications and when the money has come in, it has been badly needed.

However, with a different structure in place, some of the waiting could have been avoided.

Mayors and councillors know what their communities need and they know the urgency of each project.

Modifying the funding process would allow them to do the work in the order in which it is needed.


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