With local RCMP officers seeing an increase in weapons and violent behaviour, you would think the need for Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society would be clear.
With the society’s caseload nearly doubling in the past four years, and 800 files – accounting for $60,000 of needed money – currently unfunded, ADVAS is counting on the community for support. The organization has also requested a one-time bridging grant of $40,000 from Airdrie City council, which will be considered during the City's 2020 budget deliberations, and intends to seek further support from the other municipalities it serves.
RCMP has repeatedly touted the benefits ADVAS provides to victims and the detachment, with Insp. Pasloske telling Airdrie City council the assistance provided by the society actually saves the municipality a significant expense.
The City of Airdrie, Rocky View County and the Town of Crossfield each contribute FCSS funding dollars to support the training of volunteers, but that program is a 80/20 partnership, with the province footing the larger contribution. Additionally, this funding does not cover the costs associated with a case.
Airdrie also saves the organization rent costs by providing ADVAS with office space within the RCMP, which is a generous move. But with the caseload the society faces, we think these municipalities can do more.
While we agree the provincial and federal funding models don’t reflect today’s reality, we would hope area councils see the value in this important program.
Additionally, we hope those who can do so choose to donate. After all, it would be horrible if the help wasn’t there when you needed it.