Chak Au, Richmond City Councillor says that the revenue of the casino pays for social services which are facing government cuts.
When the Richmond City Council proposed a new spending plan for the money generated from the River Rock Casino, Chak Au, another councilor suggested using the money in a fund which will be designed specifically to help the different social service agencies in the city.
The year before, River Rock Casino had generated $21 million for the city which was accelerated by 19 percent when compared to the preceding year and the profits show no signs of slump.
According to Chak Au, a part of the revenue from the River Rock Casino should be used for the funding of social services facing cuts. (Elaine Chau/CBC)
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A major part of the surplus revenue goes towards capital reserve accounts to pay debts and to fund RCMP officers, staff recommend establishing a Council Community Initiatives Account. This would offer a onetime initiative to boost social, environmental, recreation and sports, heritage, arts and culture, safety and security and infrastructure projects.
Au told The Early Edition’s Rick Cluff, “This fund actually duplicates what we have already set up. We have a grant program for recreation, arts and culture, social services and many other things,” He also added that they are putting more money for the same thing as things can be more creative.
Au’s main proposal aims at the establishment of a social services stabilization fund which will be available to social service agencies and one which can be used in case they are facing funding cuts from various levels of the government.
“This is a reality that we are facing. I know that people may argue this is not the jurisdiction of city government; however I think the reality is we have social service agencies facing funding cuts from time to time.”
Au added that he wants to see more consultation from the public as to how gaming revenues are to be spent for future projects.