MacKenzie to ask county to consider grant policy for Legion branches

County coun­cillor Mark MacKenzie has pre­sented a notice of motion that will see a debate on coun­cil’s grant policy for Royal Canadian Legions.

His motion was presented after council had supported a finance committee recommen­dation that no grant be given to the Harriston Legion on its 70th anniversary for a number of projects.

The Legion had asked the county’s committee for a grant of $20,860. The request had come in late to the committee, and finance committee chair­man John Green noted that such a request does not meet the county criteria for grant consideration.

That criteria was recently changed after several years of wrangling about who would re­ceive county funds. The grants this year for all organizations totalled $59,100, and the larg­est grant was $19,500 for the Buy Local Buy Fresh initiative.

The Harriston Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion had requested $2,875 for a new door to the auditorium and the club rooms, $2,160 for a new awning, $10,600 for a stone cairn, and $5,225 for plaques for the cairns.

The Legion request noted that there are many other re­pairs that need to be done this year. The building has been used by the Legion for 70 years, and it is 90 years old. The Legion budget also shows that it has operated in the red.

Much of the money it raises goes to various sporting and other causes around the com­mu­nity.

The committee also recom­mended that the request be for­warded to the Minto town council and that it also be for­warded to Wellington MPs Gary Schellenberger and Mike Chong, because they might be able to find federal grants.

MacKenzie thanked the com­mittee for considering the re­quest.

He said the plan for the cairn the Legion Branch wants to build is to recognize World War II and Korean War veterans.

“I think this warrants some funding,” he added. “We have funded other organizations.”

He added that if the com­mit­tee is rejecting Legion re­quests, he would bring a notice of motion to council at the proper time.

That time occurred near the end of the meeting, and Mac­Kenzie moved that council give consideration to grant requests from Royal Canadian Legions.

His motion will be con­sid­ered at the April county council meeting.