Detail script for 17 / RAISING PRIVATE FUNDS
There is clearly broad public support on the Semiahmoo Peninsula for this Rail Relocation. The most recent demonstration of this was the September 2018 public forum called by then WR mayor Wayne Baldwin, which upon only 3 days notice, attracted approximately 200 participants. Speakers were then WR Councillor Grant Meyer [chair], then WR Mayor Wayne Baldwin, local BC-MLA Tracy Redies, Federal local MP Gordie Hogg, long-time rail safety advocate Erik Seiz, and Mary-Jane Bennett, transportation consultant/journalist. It was clear from the writer’s advocacy viewpoint, that energy in the room was positive, that over 90% of those in attendance were in support of Rail Relocation, and that all were thirsty for more information. For a more detailed look at the above, see PA News link here
Previous multi-pronged advocacy efforts of the past six years have concentrated on reaching politicians at the highest levels, in what we might describe as a top-down approach. While this has for the most part been successful, we welcomed the idea of grass roots efforts, what we might describe as a bottom-up approach. Energy and enthusiasm from every-day citizens and influential community organizations may well add voices to our long-standing advocacy efforts, and encourage healthy and prosperous conversations and advancements of this Semiahmoo Peninsula RR initiative.
We further believe now there are many influential persons and organizations, on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, and possibly beyond, who are prepared to donate to a fund set up specifically to complete funding for the ‘feasibility study’. The previous card #13 has suggested a breakdown of funds from various stakeholders to complete all funding for this study; the total required is approximately $600,000 while the amount from ‘private + other’ is nominally now set at zero. We expect to broach this topic in our mid-Sept meeting with the ‘expanded mayors group’. Any donations advanced, and received, if we pursue this idea, would receive a ‘charitable donations receipt’ from the Canada Revenue [the City of Surrey is listed and is eligible]; see CRA link here ; we will make a formal arrangement when the time is right. Our expectations are modest at this juncture; we will pursue in conjunction with the wishes of the ‘expanded mayors group’.