NEWS

Gaming grants get $15 million funding boost

01/11/2012 05:03 EST | Updated 03/12/2012 05:12 EDT

The B.C. government will restore $15 million in annual gaming grants to charitable organizations in the province, Premier Christy Clark announced on Wednesday.

The announcement comes after a review of the community gaming grant system conducted by former Kwantlen University president Skip Triplett.

Clark says the government will provide $135 million dollars for non-profit groups this year, an increase of $15 million, but still short of the funding available before cuts were made by former premier Gordon Campbell.

Clark says the new funding system will give non-profit organizations more certainty about funding and more of them will be able to apply for the money.

She says several groups struck from the grant system in 2009 will once again be able to apply, including adult arts and sports organizations, environmental groups and animal welfare agencies.

Susan Marsden from the B.C. Association for Charitable Gaming says that means more groups will now be looking for a share of the money.

"It's a recipe for chaos," she said. "If they keep the groups that are still getting the funding stable and try and divide that $15 million amongst all those groups that were cut, they're going to have to be magicians. It's just not possible."

NDP critic Spencer Chandra Herbert says Clark's announcement is just a repeat of an earlier promise and the funding is still $20 million short of what was provided three years ago.

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