Alberni regional district tepidly supports anti-violence walk

Support for an anti-violence walk in Port Alberni received a luke-warm response from the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District.

Support for an anti-violence walk in Port Alberni received a luke-warm response from the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District board earlier this month.

Walk the Talk organizer Andy Callicum spoke to the ACRD board Aug. 14 about the 118 km walk he is organizing for Sept. 20–22.

The walk would take place around Port Alberni with funds raised going towards local Canadian Red Cross violence and abuse prevention programs.

Callicum’s goal is to raise $6,000; he has raised about $1,200 so far.

He explained that he organized this walk because of his involvement with the Red Cross and because he views this is an important cause.

“I don’t see these kinds of programs here,” Callicum said.

However, chief administrative officer Russell Dyson said there is no regional district money available to help fund this event.

“Funding for that would traditionally come out of grants-in-aid,” Dyson told the board.

Just before Callicum spoke, the board agreed to give $2,500 to Jericho Road Church for their celebrity basketball event in October, leaving $1,000 in the ACRD’s special events fund. However, Dyson said Callicum’s walk does not meet the criteria to be labeled as a special event for ACRD funding purposes.

Callicum then invited the directors to walk a lap with him, which is 13 km.

However, the weekend of the walk coincides with the end of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities meeting in Vancouver, which most local politicians plan attend.

The Reconciliation Canada Walk, a walk based on renewing relationships with Aboriginal people is also scheduled for that weekend, with talk of one being held in Port Alberni.

“We as a board are committed to the Reconciliation Walk,” said Long Beach director Tony Bennett, who suggested that the ACRD give in-kind services, like photocopy service and office supplies to Callicum.

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