BILL MCQUARRIE PHOTO Port McNeill Mayor Gaby Wickstrom wants to see budget cuts restored to BC’s public libraries.

Port McNeill Mayor Gaby Wickstrom wants to see previous cuts to public libraries reversed

The Ministry of Education has, over 10 years, reduced provincial library funding by $6 million.

This week, Port McNeill Mayor Gaby Wickstrom will be seeking the support of town councillors in a bid to restore budget cuts to BC’s public libraries.

Following the lead of Victoria’s Mayor Lisa Helps, Wickstrom is looking to reverse previous cuts to public libraries. According to her submission to council, Wickstrom states the Ministry of Education has, over the past 10 years, reduced provincial library funding by $6 million.

This reduction in funding doesn’t account for the additional impact of inflation, which the Vancouver Island Regional Library Board of Trustees pegs (had the funding remained at historical levels) at an accumulated total of 15.58 per cent, or $688,8320.

Out of the current budget of $14 million, $2.3 million is allocated to partner organizations that provide services and support for public libraries. The remaining $11.7 million in provincial funding is allocated to BC’s 71 public libraries on a per capita basis.

If the budget were restored to $20 million, the Vancouver Island Regional Library network would receive an additional $735,000, an increase of 57% over last year’s provincial contribution.

Wickstrom is not asking for more money, as she simply wants the money that was taken away from our library returned. Helps agrees and wants to remind everyone how vital libraries are to a healthy and well-rounded community.

Helps, along with mayors such as Wickstrom, are looking to the Union of BC Municipalities for support, noting in her resolution that, “Libraries are now so much more than books.” Explaining how they, “build community and a sense of inclusion while providing universal access to information and learning materials irrespective of income levels.”

Victoria’s city council feels the concept of “universal access to information and learning materials, irrespective of income levels” should not be denied to anyone and Wickstrom would like to see Port McNeill voice its support for the UBCM resolution.

– Bill McQuarrie article

Just Posted

Port McNeill Library release five-year plan

VIRL recently released its vision and operating plan for 2020 through to 2024/25.

Port Hardy awarded ‘Level 4’ recognition by Green Communities Committee

District awarded Level 4 recognition - ‘Achievement of Carbon Neutrality’.”

Port McNeill to move forward with Downtown Improvement Initiative

Council voted to backstop the project by allocating up to an additional $10,000.

Fire Prevention Week kicks off in the North Island at Storey’s Beach Fire Hall

The open house proved to be quite popular with youth and families.

Port McNeill staff and RDMW Chair talk live-streaming meetings

“I welcome any opportunity and mechanism we have to make local government more transparent”

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Most Read