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Officials hope for quick action on library funding decision

The Grande Prairie Public Library will only receive half of their operating grant from the provincial government as the UCP have yet to finish up their financial plan for the upcoming year.

While it may seem jarring to receive less than anticipated, it’s nothing new when a new party gets into power according to Grande Prairie Public Library Director, Deb Cryderman.

“Last time the government changed [NDP], they put the funding on hold until they revised their budget, but we ended with the same funding. I anticipate when they review their budget and we will receive the same money,” she added.

Making up just shy of 10 per cent of its annual budget, the remaining $190,000 will be discussed and finalized during provincial budget deliberations in the fall.

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The library is primarily funded by the City and County of Grande Prairie, as well as the MD of Greenview. However, despite it being a relative drop in the bucket, the loss of a couple hundred thousand dollars could have long-lasting effects if it were to vanish from the books.

“It would devastate us if we didn’t get it, but I anticipate that we can just expect all systems go. Until I hear otherwise I’m not panicking,” she said.

In a statement on Twitter, Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu said: “In order to ensure libraries have the resources they need to get through the interim period, funding has been approved so they can obtain 50 per cent of their operating grants before the budget is finalized.”

Madu suggested the discussion surrounding a potential lack of funding is in part the NDP “trying to create fear and confusion at every turn.”

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