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Delta Hospice gaming grant to be reviewed

NDP government receives backlash from community
Hospice letter solverson

A recent gaming grant to the Delta Hospice Society will be reviewed after backlash from residents and Delta politicians.

Late last week, the NDP government announced that 19 Delta organizations would be splitting $679,000 through the human and social services stream of the Community Gaming Grants program.

The Delta Hospice Society was granted $36,000.

On Tuesday, Delta South Liberal MLA Ian Paton issued a statement condemning government for providing the Hospice Society with the grant.

“I am shocked and disappointed to see the NDP provide grant funding for the Delta Hospice Society,” said Paton. “The society has lost its Fraser Health funding and has been forced to vacate the Irene Thomas Hospice, which is now run by Fraser Health and fundraised for by the Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation.

“I am calling on the NDP government, which I know has been thoroughly briefed on the situation, to commit to rescinding the grant funding to this society, which no longer provides value to Delta residents.”

On Tuesday night, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Minister Responsible for Immigration for British Columbia MLA Nathan Cullen issued a statement on Twitter.

“The Delta Hospice Society received a small grant from the Community Gaming Grant program. Our government has been clear that we do not agree with the views advanced by this organization,” Cullen said. “It has come to our attention that there are concerns regarding funding provided to this organization and whether information provided by the organization was accurate and therefore fully met eligibility criteria.

“I’ve asked staff to review the application. We have a thorough audit processes in place to investigate claims and will be looking into this matter immediately. We will explore all corrective options including the possibility of recovering the funds.”

Cullen added that decisions on Community Gaming Grant applications are made by independent decision makers, based on established program criteria.

“The integrity of the program is a high priority for the province,” said Cullen.