Michele MacPhee is the senior’s safety social inclusion coordinator for Richmond County.

ARICHAT: Council has decided to change which group will receive funding for senior’s safety.

During a virtual meeting of Richmond Municipal Council on Monday night in Arichat, Chief Administrative Officer Don Marchand told council that last summer a $25,000 funding request for a senior’s safety coordinator was approved by council.

“It was our understanding, staff’s understanding, that the Seniors Take Action Coalition had made the request, that we would be providing the funding to them,” the CAO explained.

But Marchand said the municipality was recently contacted by the Dr. W.B. Kingston Memorial Health Centre for that money since they are administering the program. He requested council’s approval to give that money to the health centre.

“My concern is that council is aware that the Seniors Take Action Coalition made the funding request, they approved it based on that information, and now we’re asked to issue a cheque into the W.B. Kingston’s name,” the CAO noted.

District 4 councillor Gilbert Boucher introduced a motion to release the funds to the health centre since they’re basically the same organization.

“I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t release those funds to them,” Boucher told council.

Although district 5 councillor Jason MacLean seconded the motion, district 1 councillor James Goyetche questioned why the health centre didn’t make the original application and he asked if there is a way for the municipality to protect itself to avoid a problem in the future.

“What you have here is one organization that we approve applying for funding, and you issue a cheque to a different organization,” Goyetche noted. “I’m just wondering is there a problem with the Seniors Take Action Coalition to apply to be registered with joint stocks. Then that would solve the problem. Then we can issue the cheque directly to the Seniors Take Action Coalition.”

MacLean responded that the senior’s safety coordinator is administered through the health centre.

“It’s my understanding that the Seniors Take Action Coalition was a supporter of the request, but the request didn’t come from them, the request should have come from the Kingston centre,” he explained.

While he agreed with Goyetche’s claim that this is an “unusual” situation, Boucher pointed out that the health centre is administering the programs.

“It’s the same people who are all involved in it,” he said. “When they come to pick up the cheque, I think paperwork has to be signed that they’re both working hand-in-hand on it and it’s going to the Kingston centre instead of the Seniors Take Action.”

Council approved Boucher’s motion to change the name of the funding recipient.