Cuts to CFEP grants don’t sit well with NDP

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

A community grant program accessed by dozens of community groups totaling millions of dollars in the Peace region is facing the ax.

The Alberta NDP revealed March 24 that cuts in the budget proposed by the ruling UCP to the Community Facility Enhancement Program [CFEP] are leaving community operators of halls, playgrounds, gardens, outdoor skating rinks, etc. across the province concerned over their ability to stay open.

It is the second year the UCP have made cuts to the program, reducing the full amount by almost 50 per cent. Since the UCP was elected, CFEP funding has fallen from to $18.5 million from $38 million this year.

“Every single neighbourhood in every corner of this province can see these grants in action in their local facilities,” said NDP culture critic Nicole Goehring.

“Provincial support and encouragement through financial means are needed to maintain the important pieces of community framework and infrastructure where Albertans meet, stay healthy and active as well as foster well-being and social connection,” reads a letter signed by more than 150 community associations and leagues from across the province.

“Albertans, like myself, use these spaces to teach their children to skate. They got married in these spaces. People hope to be able to host fundraisers in these spaces again, once it is safe to do so. These are important buildings to every single community across the province,” says Goehring.

“I’m calling on the UCP to immediately reinstate the funding to CFEP so that these vital spaces in our backyards can survive.”

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