More and more groups and communities are realizing more that they have to rely less and less on the provincial government for funding local programs and services.
Information from the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association states that the government will not continue to hand out millions and millions of dollars for building projects after decades of running the tap wide open.
With the reduction to lottery grants such as the Community Facility Enhancement Program and similar initiatives, and eliminating the Community Spirit Program, the government will give less funding support for community facilities and programs and swing more pressure for municipalities to provide support.
So that will definitely mean more groups and organizations will want more local funding for their projects and programs.
Now is the time to set the realistic priorities and review programs and service where limited funding can be used in the most effective and long-lasting impact.
For instance, the Heartland Youth Centre, which has lost thousands of dollars in funding, could easily eliminate trophies awarded to its youth who raise the most money for the Bowl for Kids fundraiser each spring.
When I first took photos at the ceremony last year, I was totally appalled that a youth group was presenting expensive trophies to youths for raising money.
Since when is fundraising a game when the biggest fundraisers are the champions?
What kind of a bad message does that portray to youth — that they will be rewarded for collecting money?
Remember the old proverb — “It’s better to give than to receive.”
To build a community, it takes teamwork with skills of all kinds, not just raising funds.
Everybody who contributes to build a community and projects, especially as children and youths develop, deserves to be recognized equally when everyone works as a team.
Especially for children, who don’t have what it takes, like myself through life, asking for money and pledges is very challenging and frustrating, and many adults can attest to.
If I were in this youthful position challenged to raise funds, with a trophy at stake, I would simply say, “Why bother.”
With less funding, I trust groups and organizations will refocus their efforts and budgets to build character cooperation and not competition.
For municipalities, such as counties, less money for bridges is certainly not the end of the world.
Sure, it was good when funding was flowing non-stop, though money might have been spent on unnecessary things.
I guess when money is not a problem, organizations and municipalities will go on a spending spree and buy or invest it in anything — even if it’s unnecessary.
When I moved to Alberta in 2002, I was dumbfounded why municipal districts and counties had to put so much money into bridges and gravel roads that are graded year after year.
Why not pave them.
I thought, what a waste of time and money to upkeep these roads, especially in areas where only a few vehicles travel daily.
Each municipality and organization will certainly make many wise decisions to cut waste and become more efficient for themselves and more worthy for taxpayers and those raising and giving funds and support.
Remember the old cliché — “waste not, want not” — that if you do not waste anything, you will always have enough.
Since the provincial government is the parent of municipalities and their partners, the message now is simple in these times of financial restraint.
“If you want to have some money for your projects and programs, don’t come begging to us, earn your own money.
“We’ve given you more than enough over the decades. Now it’s time to earn it on your own.”
— FROESE’N TIME