Martin C. Barry
Vimy Liberal MP Eva Nassif announced last week that six non-profit organizations in western Laval will be receiving a total of $124,691 from the federal government in the coming months to carry out improvements at their offices and facilities.
The subsidies, announced by Nassif at the Croix de Secours Arménienne de Laval community centre on des Prairies Blvd., were given to the groups under the auspices of the federal government’s New Horizons program, which funds projects that enhance the lives or provide assistance to senior citizens.
Six groups get subsidies
The groups receiving the grants are Croix de Secours Arménienne de Laval, Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Association Lavalloise des Personnes Aidantes, Rendez-Vous des Aînés, FADOQ – Mouvement des Aînés du Québec Région de Laval and Comité des Loisirs de l’Habitation Raymond-Goyer.
“This is not something that is just for this year,” Nassif pointed out to a gathering of the groups’ leaders, who will have to apply for the subsidies all the same. “New Horizons is something that will be repeated every year.” Nassif said there could be even more money available to community groups through another program known as Pan-Canadian Projects.
Another government program
According to the Pan-Canadian Projects website, projects may be funded up to $750,000, for up to a maximum of three years. The eligible recipients include not-for-profit organizations, coalitions, networks and ad hoc committees, for-profit organizations, municipal governments, research organizations and institutes, educational institutions, public health and social services institutions, and aboriginal organizations (including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities).
An information handout from Nassif’s office says the approved projects range from upgrading of community kitchen facilities and lighting systems, to purchasing equipment for indoor activities. While Nassif’s office didn’t immediately divulge the amounts allotted for individual projects, it would appear that the breakdown was about even.
Laval city councillor for Val-des-Arbres Christiane Yoakim and l’Abord-à-Plouffe councillor Vasilios Karidogiannis were on hand for the announcement. “These are important grants that are being made available to support the needs of older residents in a municipality like Laval to break the isolation they sometimes experience,” Karidogiannis told the Laval News. “We thank the federal government for having these kinds of programs and we look forward to more coming along.”
“We’re always interacting with all levels of government and other elected officials,” he added regarding the city’s involvement in persuading Ottawa to support the local projects. “It’s important to create good relationships with them so that we can better communicate the needs of our citizens. The federal and provincial governments are important players in Laval in providing us with support.”
Church lighting replacement
Nick Furfaro, a member of the board of wardens at Holy Name of Jesus parish, said they were generally pleased with what they received. According to Furfaro, the church was allotted $25,000. Their project involves converting the lighting system inside a church hall from incandescent to LED. “The seniors who use our hall have a hard time seeing, especially since we have no windows in our church and it gets very dark,” he said.
The Croix de Secours Arménienne de Laval (known to some as the Armenian Relief Society) also received $25,000. The money will be used to renovate and upgrade a kitchen. “It was very much needed because our installations were very old and we were having great difficulty with our tasks,” said Maggie Hajjar, a member of the group’s executive-committee. Among other things, Croix de Secours Arménienne de Laval will be replacing consumer-grade stoves with industrial-quality models using the money from the federal government.