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HomeNewsIsland & CoastRDN votes for funding of INFilm to continue

RDN votes for funding of INFilm to continue

The Regional District of Nanaimo says INFilm will continue to get funding because of the positive economic benefit it brings to the whole island. 

A motion to discontinue an annual $50,000 contribution to the non-profit organization was put forward by East Wellington-Pleasant Valley director Lauren Melanson because she says her district doesn’t see any benefits. 

“The disproportionate benefits favour certain parts of the region more than others,” Melanson says. “The delegation very kindly pointed out how many hotels, office, and float planes are used but we have none [in her riding].” 

Melanson says she isn’t disputing the economic value INFilm brings to the region, but she suggests giving the funding to other organizations who need it. 

“There was just short of $70,000 given this year to various other organizations, 34 in total, who applied for almost $250,000 worth of grant money. It had to be whittled down to $70,000,” she says. “InFilm is receiving $50,000 as one organization.” 

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A presentation put forward by INFiIm regional production services manager Brandon Lepine, and Nanaimo Hospitality Association executive director Dan Brady provided an in-depth presentation to outline the positive economic benefits. 

Director Paul Manly says he is opposed to the motion put forward by Melanson because INFilm is promoting the area and creating economic benefits across the region. 

“They have to promote the area and draw them in here, and that is what INFilm is doing,” Manly says. “People are working in this industry that live all over the region, so I am sure there are folks in her area who are benefiting from production on the island.” 

Manly summed his arguments by saying the dollars INFilm brings into the region help with infrastructure, increase the talent pool, and build the local economy. 

In an interview Mayor Leonard Krog echoed what Manly brought forward, and added the benefit is extensive and widespread not just central to one electoral area. 

“It’s not just the benefit that comes through the door, it’s the benefit to their employees, and everyone else,” Krog says. “It is a huge economic driver, and clean money.” 

Krog says the boost in the economy is exactly what the presentation indicated as for every dollar INFilm receives it contributes $120 to the community. 

“Even if the numbers are way off I don’t care,” he says. “If we see $50 invested for each dollar that is far better than any Ponzie scheme I have ever seen. 

“I think the [rural area] voters are getting an enormous benefit, the region is getting an incredible benefit, it’s a non-profit organization.” 

The motion to suspend the contribution to INFilm was suspended, but board chair Vanessa Craig, Melanson and Cedar-South Wellington area director Jessica Stanley voted in favour of it. 

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