Old School to get accessibility upgrades

PORT McNEILL-Federal program delivers $50,000 from Enabling Accessibility Fund; seniors groups also receive grants.

Seniors and residents with disabilities will be among the beneficiaries of a series of Federal grants announced last week by Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan.

The Town of Port McNeill will receive $50,000 towards constructing an exterior ramp, building an accessible washroom and installing automated door openers at the Old School Recreation Centre. The funding comes from the government’s Enabling Accessibility Fund and was announced in Campbell River by Duncan on behalf of Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development.

Port McNeill is one of five North Vancouver Island recipients of grants totalling $133,213.

“The Government of Canada is creating opportunities for Canadians with disabilities through support from these projects,” said Duncan. “Thanks to these organizations who care about accessibility, we are eliminating barriers and we’re helping to bring workers, employers and communities together.”

Port McNeill’s Old School houses a Seniors Centre, pre-school/daycare centre and the local weekly Teen Drop-in Centre. It is also rented by various groups for community events.

In a separate funding announcement, Duncan said three area organizations will be among 16 North Island organizations to benefit from $257,955 in funding from the New Horizons for Seniors Program.

Port Hardy’s Grassroots Garden Society will receive money to help mentor youth and members of the community on the topic of eating healthy and preparing recipes from easily obtainable fresh and/or wild, locally grown food.

The Kwakiutl First Nation will receive funds to aid seniors in creating a traditional food and medicine garden and mentor other generations about medicinal roots and berries.

And Sayward’s Heritage Hall Community Club will receive money to replace the roof and resurface the concrete floor of their Pavilion to allow seniors to continue with carpet bowling, garden club, pot luck dinners and other activities

Duncan made the New Horizons for Seniors funding announcement on behalf of Alice Wong, Minister of State for Seniors.