qathet Regional District (qRD) has received a request regarding names of organizations it supports financially.
At the March 11 committee of the whole meeting, directors considered correspondence from Ari Dublion, who suggested the regional board consider requiring recipients of qRD funding to use qathet in the title of the organizations. Dublion, in his email, stated he had read a couple of reports recently about Powell River Historical Museum and Archives and Powell River Academy of Music seeking funding from qRD.
“Generally, I support cultural funding, and as a citizen of qRD, I’m in favour of sharing some of my tax money with these two institutions,” stated Dublion. “Given that we have changed the regional district’s name recently, and in the spirit of reconciliation, I’d like to ask that the board consider requiring recipients of funding to include the district name, or drop Powell River altogether.”
Electoral Area E director Andrew Fall said he did not believe qRD has the jurisdiction to require that and it may be considered inappropriate for the regional district to make the request.
“If there is to be any action, the request should be sent to those organizations,” said Fall. “They may be able to address that issue if they so choose.”
Electoral Area A director and regional board chair Patrick Brabazon said Fall is correct, that the board did not have the right to tell people how to name themselves when they come to the qRD for money.
“Nonetheless, I’m pleased to see the letter,” said Brabazon. “Somebody does acknowledge our name and maybe those organizations that consider themselves regional rather than city would consider it. However, we can’t ask them to.”
Electoral Area C director Clay Brander said he was curious if the board could consider forwarding the email to the museum board to plant an idea. He said, however, he is not going to be asking them to do anything.
The committee carried a motion to receive the letter.
Brander then brought forward a motion that the committee forward the correspondence onto the museum board.
Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne said it was not the regional board’s place to tell organizations how to name themselves.
“I don’t think it’s entirely appropriate for the board to forward correspondence such as this to those organizations requesting their names be changed,” said Gisborne. “I get where the idea is coming from and I understand the idea behind it, however, I’m not a huge fan of the official process of sending such a letter to these organizations. I’m just concerned it could potentially snowball.”
City director George Doubt said he thought it was appropriate to receive the information and if the regional district decides to send the correspondence to both of the organizations, which is what he thought the motion was, then it is implying that the regional district supports the request, and that’s why they are sending it.
“The board hasn’t decided to support the request, we’ve decided to receive it for information,” said Doubt. “I think the suggestion that was made by the board chair that they might want to do it anyway, or that the person who originated the correspondence might send it to the museum and the music academy, was a sensible one. I’ll be voting against this one.”
The committee narrowly carried a motion to send the correspondence to the organizations by a four to three margin, with Gisborne, Doubt and committee chair Sandy McCormick opposed.