Langley City gives grant to Legion

Langley City has come to the aid of the cash-strapped Royal Canadian Legion’s Langley branch, to the tune of more than $5,000.

Council voted on Oct. 1 to provide the Langley Legion with a one-time grant of $5,045 to help the foundering organization as it struggles to repay a massive debt and get its financial operations back under control.

Last January, the local branch turned to Pacific Command, the Legion’s governing body in British Columbia and the Yukon, seeking help to get its financial house in order.

Already struggling with declining membership, a move into a new building on 56 Avenue ended up costing the branch more than $1 million in unanticipated improvements.

At that time the Legion approached the City for a grant, but was refused. Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender explained that the City’s grant policy is only to provide funding for capital projects, not for operations.

“They’re trying to find a way out from under their financial situation, but the way out is not for the City to continually give them money when their financial model is not working,” Fassbender said at the time.

However, council has now  reversed its position, voting unanimously to provide the grant money, through its enterprise fund.

“Pacific Command is working to help (the Langley Legion) become whole in terms of their finances,” said Fassbender, in explaining the decision.

“They are convinced they will be back in the black soon. A one-time grant from the enterprise fund will help them get over that hurdle.”

“We’re not entertaining a tax exemption because of the issues around liquor laws,” he added.

The City also spent more than $200,000 on a new cenotaph in Douglas Park, which was used for the first time during Remembrance Day services last November.

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