Thank you to everyone who wrote to the Minister. He and his staff discussed the Westport e-mails and letters – so your work was not in vain.
The meeting with Minister Duguid did not result in a commitment for any money as he said “there is no pot of money”. This week the Premier announced that in 2017/18, the amount of money for infrastructure would be doubled and that there is another intake for OCIF funding in April – but again, this is for 2017.
The Minister is aware that we will be using our existing OCIF grant money to cover the costs of hauling this year – an amount that could easily be $500,000. He sympathized.
Minister Duguid and his staff encouraged us to be “shovel ready” for the Federal grants, which should be announced in April. According to our schedule of events including the tendering process, we should be. The Minister did share with us that the province doesn’t know what the scope of those grants will be.
The final discussion with them was my request to keep whatever is remaining from our 2015/16 OCIF grant beyond December 2016 and use it in 2017 with that year’s grant. Normally , this is not approved by government – but as the Minister said, due to our “unique” situation, he and his staff will see what they can do.
The Minister was a real gentleman – and although we did not make any headway in $$$ – I felt that he listened to our situation.
I am still waiting to confirm dates/times for meetings with the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and with the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Thank you everyone for your support and comments. We are not finished in our quest by a long shot!