Hi! I’m Samantha Kutowy – the other half who founded the Ontario Parenting Connection. I was hoping that my first blog would be to announce that the North Grenville Council has approved our application under The North Grenville Community Grants Program. Unfortunately, the council voted against us receiving a very small grant of $1000. Instead they are carrying over $3850 for next year. They stated that they wanted to use the money for ‘capital projects’. The actual description of the community grants program states:
“The North Grenville Community Grants Program exists to provide financial support to not-for-profit community associations and organizations for services, projects or events that contribute toward the quality of life of local residents. Financial support from the Municipality recognizes the valuable resources and contributions of these organizations in helping North Grenville maintain a strong community focus.”
OPC wants to hold a small onetime event – a needs assessment for parents in North Grenville. The objective is to bring parents together to assess the needs for parents and families in our community. The outcome of this event would be to take the documented information to the appropriate governments and social service agencies to advocate for improvements to the quality of life for the local parents and children…or if you will the ‘local residents’.
The opinions of the parents are what will be used to direct the actions taken by OPC. Tell us what you want and we will move it forward. Our objective is to advocate for pro-social change for parents raising families in Ontario.
One of their arguments was that we are new and yes – OPC was founded in June 2016 so yes we are very new. All organizations start at some point and that should not be considered a negative point. The amount of $1000 is such a teeny about of money and a teeny amount of risk from the Municipality of North Grenville’s perspective. It’s not like we were even competing against other groups for the funds either – there were only 3 applicants and yet we were rejected.
Perhaps you think the council is just being frugal or accountable to the residents of North Grenville. Perhaps they are.
An interesting part of The Committee of the Whole Meeting Monday night was when the council approved spending $25000 to revitalize the “park” and the intersection of Prescott Street and Reuben Crescent. Wait…what? Oh – you mean that little patch of grass with that nice big Linden tree on it beside the Post Office? Yes, apparently that is a park. Apparently, the council feel that spending $25000 to spruce it up with a sign and a few benches will “contribute toward the quality of life of local residents” of North Grenville. Apparently they feel so strongly about this that a public consultation was not required to do so. Apparently, replacing the three play structures that were removed would not “contribute toward the quality of life of local residents” as much as a sign and benches at a location that is unsafe for children to play. I know for one I will walk my 3 kids past that “park” on my way to Riverside Park and while I do, I will dream of the day those play structures are replaced and the splash pad will finally be built because that will actually “contribute toward the quality of life of local residents.”
Parents of North Grenville, if you would like OPC to support and advocate for changes you want to see in the community, please become a member of OPC. Send us an email at email@example.com and visit us at ontarioparenting.org so we can get your input. We also need to get support to better advocate for you and your family so if you can help or know of organizations that could provide financial support please let us know.
All the best,