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trillim funding grant-captionBruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker says the Liberal government's surprise move to withdraw $25 million from Trillium Foundation funding will set back community projects and put local volunteer groups in jeopardy.

"This money helps hard-working volunteers to do good things in our communities and to essentially fill gaps that need to be covered. The cancellation of the Ontario Trillium Foundation's capital program is a big blow to service clubs and community groups across my riding that have very few options for raising capital funds elsewhere."

"Trillium has dumped the spring-round of applications and disregarded the thousands of volunteer hours that it took to complete them," he explains. "This will also have negative spin-offs on the local economy as many of these grants employ local contractors and locally-sourced supplies."

In the past, Trillium has provided funds to help purchase equipment for a new cooperative daycare in the riding, to increase accessibility at local Lions Clubs and Legion Halls, to support the delivery of children's mental health services, and has directly helped out the Billy Bishop Museum, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Palliative Care-Hospice Association, Seniors Centres and countless non-profits across the region.

"This is a sad day," he MPP explains. "As a former Grant Team volunteer on the Trillium Foundation for our region, I saw first-hand how effective this funding was.

"Community volunteers invested their time and effort to causes that are dependent on volunteers, tax money was invested back into the local community, jobs were created and many organizations were able to sustain access to, in many cases, community hub facilities which play a key role in our small, rural communities. It was win-win-win all around."

According to the Ontario Trillium Foundation newsletter, the charity organization funded through proceeds from lotteries in Ontariois going through budget changes. A $25 million program called the Community Capital Project has been promised and further details are anticipated this spring.

Without any details, MPP Walker has doubts about the future of the capital program.

source: media release, Queen's Park

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