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REPORTING · 23rd March 2010
Merv Ritchie
Brad Pollard and Lynne Christiansen were absent from the Terrace City Council deliberations on Monday evening as the Council began debating the important affairs of the City business.

First up was the presentation by Jeannine Knox on behalf of the Terrace Anti Poverty Society. She was requesting the City continue with the reduced rental applied last November of $1 per month for the City owned building they were currently occupying. The building had been previously rented for $1 per year but the Terrace Anti Poverty Society, a group, which helps the most downtrodden in our society, was charged $600 per month when they took over the space from the Woman’s Resource Center in December 2007.

The Councillors agreed to forgo the collection of the $600 per month until such time as the Anti poverty group received money from the provincial government, and then they wanted their $600 per month. They do not expect it until sometime in the spring of 2011. Councillor Downie stated they had determined a course of action to collect this rent and when the Society returned to a position of receiving funding the City should expect the rate they set.

Councillor Bruce Martindale asked how much funding they lost when the Provincial Government pulled their funding. $100,000 he was told.

The Society has had to lay off all their employees except their executive director and even that position has been cut to 25 hours per week.

Watch a video of this discussion HERE.
A matter of priorities
Comment by Carrie La Porte on 27th March 2010
It seems appalling to me that so little support is available for our unemployed, our seniors, and our citizens who are on limited income due to illness, disabling conditions, or addictions. First the addictions centre gets closed and now Terrace Anti-Poverty is under siege.

There is a shortage of affordable housing and even our community gardens are being inadequately funded. People who have to choose between paying rent or eating rapidly become despondent. When you have depressed, disadvantaged people, well, then other things come into play. In a country as wealthy as Canada, no one should be homeless, hungry, or without adequate health care.

I have, on more than one occasion, been accosted in the downtown core by people who were clearly in desperate straits. I am not blaming them, as there are few places one can go, without money. I AM suggesting that this puts a negative face onto our community when people are reduced to sleeping in our parks, and picking through garbage, both activities which I have observed.

Most people just need a hand up. Where is our compassion? Why are we not supporting our community workers? Why are we not helping people to help themselves?

If we are to successfully market our community to potential investors or possible homebuyers then we need to provide positive alternatives for our disadvantaged people, starting with permanently reducing the rent for Terrace Anti-Poverty who provide an invaluable public service to our most vulnerable residents.
It makes you wonder.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 23rd March 2010
They didn't seem to have a problem foregoing $35,000 of development fees to BC Housing even though BC Housing is already funded by the BC Taxpayer. We won't mention the inconsistency in making local developers pay these fees but letting BC Housing off the hook. Forgoing $7,200 a year in rent for Terrace Anti-poverty doesn't seem like a lot considering who will benefit from the service.
Send the Clients to City Council
Comment by Sylvia Stephens on 23rd March 2010
Like Terrace Anti-Poverty Group Society, our group was also denied funds, as a matter of fact, we have not received one red penny from any source. Nisga'a Lisims Government refused to fund our operations, but, the Director of Programs and Services, Cal Albright directs clients to come and see me for assistance. What are their wages and whom do they serve?

For the record, I have had over 150 clients from all over the Northwest, I will not reveal the details of clients cases, as of March 1, 2010, I refuse to offer my services, why should I do the work and the government employees collect high salaries? Our Village Government also directs clients to come see me to process Income Tax returns and renewals for Old Age Security, those days are now history.

I have not been compensated for the overwhelming caseloads over two year period and I now stand my ground, equal pay for equal work.

I suggest that you send your clients to either the MLA or City Council, let them see how much work is involved and it is a sad situation, we have it in our hearts to help others, let's see their compassion and what level of service they can offer. I will publish my notice in our weekly newsletter. To date, I have worked on 2 medical malpractice lawsuits and several Human Rights issues....the list is long but it was a very rewarding experience, worth the time to help others. Good luck!