RMI funding confirmed for another year

Discussion around how funding allocated needed, says Kimberley mayor

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick

As noted by Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok, who is tourism critic, there wasn’t a lot about tourism in the Throne Speech or budget. He noted there was of mention of the Resort Municipality Initiative, a program which allows the 14 B.C. Resort Municipalities, of which Kimberley is one, to receive funding for tourism infrastructure. Kimberley has been receiving funds through this program since its inception. Funding is usually $80,000 to $100,000 per year.

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick says that the fact that RMI was not in the budget is not unusual and right now the program is running as it usually does.

“Under the previous government, when the RMI program was switched to a grant when the HST came in, it has never been a line item in the budget,” he said. “The Minister goes to the Treasury Board for an allocation under the budget.

“Nothing has really changed and there has been a commitment of funds for this year.”

McCormick received a phone classroom the Minister, Lisa Beare, assuring him of that right after the budget came down this week.

However, that’s this year and the program’s future, or what it will look like in the future, remains up in the air.

“A discussion on how the RMI funds are allocated needs to take place,” McCormick said. “The good news is that there is a commitment for this year, but the government hasn’t decided how it will look going forward.”

How much each community gets is decided by a complicated formula that includes an accelerator based on room numbers. Therefore, the more rooms a community has available, the more money it gets.

McCormick has long argued against this way of deciding funding.

Because there is a fixed cap on the amount of funding in the pot, he says, and because tourism is going up every year, the amount of money Kimberley gets is going down each year.

“So who’s is going up?” he asks. “The rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The accelerator has to go.”

A case in point he says, is the funding that was announced in the budget, that allows 3 per cent of short term rental from Air BnB to be given to communities for affordable housing initiatives.

“Resort municipalities can use that extra funding for affordable, housing,” McCormick said. “But based on our estimates of Air BnBs in Kimberley, that would be $8700. If all the other short term rentals were added in, you could maybe double that.”

But the larger resort communities like Tofino and Whistler would get much more.McCormick believes there is a heightened sense of understanding that the RMI needs to be adjusted, and he hopes there will be many conversations on it in the coming year.

Just Posted

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

A fawn found in Invermere. (BC Conservation Officer Service photo)
WildSafeBC advises on fawning season

It’s best to leave fawns alone, according to WildSafeBC

On Tuesday June 8th, B.C. Fire in Invermere responded to a fire at the 9500 area of Hwy 95 south of Parson. (Photo submitted)
Parson fire reminder of wildfire season ahead

While the fire was quickly extinguished, it’s a reminder that open fires are currently prohibited

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Some of the priorities that the GDCF is hoping to touch on in their surveys that will inform community priorities. (GDCF photo)
Golden Community Foundation encouraging residents to participate in survey

It’s a new project to inform community priorities in the coming year

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu supported a motion in the B.C. legislature for Canada to create a national Indigenous History month Monday, June 13, 2021. (Contributed)
Canada needs a national Indigenous History Month, Vernon MLA agrees

Harwinder Sandhu supports motion to recognize June as month to advance reconciliation efforts with First Nations

(Facebook)
New trial date set for Penticton beach attacker’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
POLL: Low-key Canada Day in the works for Vernon

Councillor calling for Indigenous recognition for 2022

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

A provided photo of the suspect. (Kelowna RCMP/Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP investigating after business robbed

An undisclosed amount of money and merchandise were taken from the business

Most Read