The MLA for La Verendrye is calling a recent funding cut concerning for all of Manitoba. 

Konrad Narth is referring to the Urban/ Hometown Green Team program and the fact that many organizations within his constituency have suddenly been denied funding. Narth says it was brought to his attention about two weeks ago that some camps in the southeast corner of the province did not receive their expected grant. 

Narth explains that the grant is designed to help organizations while providing community-based jobs for young people. He notes the program has been around for several years, helping organizations like camps, non-profits, and community groups. 

According to Narth, he was informed that the Catholic camp at St. Malo had not received its Green Team grant this year. The camp is represented by the Manitoba Camping Association, which indicated that several other camps had also not been given their funding. Narth says he soon realized that there were many organizations within La Verendrye that either had their funding cut entirely or substantially. And, Narth says it quickly became apparent that this was a province-wide issue. 

In addition to the Catholic camp at St. Malo, Narth says Roseau River Bible Camp is also impacted. So too are many other organizations in La Verendrye, including the Hanover Ag Society, Menno Home in Grunthal, St. Pierre Manor, Rat River Recreation Commission, the Vassar pool, and Vita Community Childcare Centre. Narth says this is only a portion of the list of organizations that have grown accustomed to the support from the provincial government to provide summer jobs to students. 

"We don't have a complete list, but in La Verendrye, my office has reached out to each of the organizations, and it seems as though anything faith-based has been eliminated from the list of recipients," says Narth. "And others have been cut back."

Narth calls this all very concerning. He says funding is being cut to programs that provide fulfilling jobs to the youth in our communities. Narth says they provide a sense of community for the youth while giving potential support for advancing their education. But he says his biggest concern is that the funding has been cut without any alternatives being provided. 

"We can all understand that a new government wants to put their mark on a program, but it seems to be somewhat of a trend right now that the cuts are coming before the alternatives," Narth points out. "Many of these grants have been outright cut and no alternatives have been announced."

During question period last week, Narth pushed for the NDP government to reinstate funding to these organizations, even if that falls under a different name. 

Narth says the timing for all of this could not be worse. He notes this grant is geared towards students, many of whom are on their summer break looking for employment. And, for the organizations, he says they are left needing to find alternate sources of revenue to now fund these positions. Either that or they are forced to tell these students to now find other employment. 

"So that means young La Verendrye residents, many of them will have left their community to seek summer employment when the need was right here at home," says Narth.