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CITY BRIEFS: L'ecole Allain St-Cyr parents appeal denied grant claim

The parent committee of l'ecole Allain St-Cyr sought a reversal from city council Monday on a $10,000 grant claim it was denied.

The school is seeking gym space, stage, kitchen and outdoor basketball court, all of which it plans to open to a joint user agreement to make the facilities available for rental to the city, said Roxanne Poulin, member of the school's parent committee.

"We're not looking for this handout from the city to provide all kinds of stuff. It's seven per cent of a $150,000 campaign that we've undertaken," Poulin said.

They proposal for funding under the city's community grant program was denied in part because aspects of the request fell outside of the requirements. There is currently no money carried over into reserve for grants, and all funds were allocated in 2018.

Through the grant program the only eligible upgrades are those to school grounds," said Coun. Rebecca Alty.

In the "spirit" of having redirected the school to apply for grant funding, Coun. Linda Bussey said she will bring forward a motion next week to ask that the city support the school to the tune of $5,000 rather than $10,000.


City council seeks criteria for designated smoking areas

City council will vote in two weeks on a bylaw that would restrict smoking and vaping on the city's recreational properties, except trails and for traditional ceremonies. It doesn't, however, have information on how and where it will set up designated areas.

Smokers and vapers will be banned from lighting up in plazas, parks, recreational facilities and outdoor facilities (excluding trails). During the first month of the bylaw's effect, municipal law enforcement will issue warnings, rather than tickets. The new bylaw has provisions for smoking cannabis, based on federal proposals for legalization.

It would also roll electronic cigarettes into the bylaw, supported by the Canadian Cancer Society.

Coun. Julian Morse voiced support for the amendment, but asked the departments of Public Safety and Community Services to share their criteria for establishing designated smoking areas.

"I think it is important that if we are going to limit this activity that we do provide a place where it can happen within the bylaw," said Morse. "Depending on where they get located, I think it could create problems of additional complaints."


Property tax policy will observe spirit of reconciliation

A proposed policy for granting property tax exemptions for societies would not stop groups like the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation, who won the Arctic Inspiration Prize, from seeking exemptions.

"I'm wondering if this part of the criteria would pose a barrier to (Indigenous societies) in seeking property tax exemptions," Coun. Shauna Morgan told council Monday, adding that council has strongly supported the idea of an Indigenous healing centre.

Sharolynn Woodward, director of Corporate Services said: "We wanted to make sure there was no form of discrimination or limitation or restriction, that the society was in fact available or one that provided services to the population at large.

"If we're not generating income from a particular piece of property ... the rest of the taxpayer base makes up that difference."