Council showed some welcome restraint limiting its donation to the Terry Halifax bursary, down from a requested $5,000 to $2,500.
Immediately, let’s put aside any comment about the man himself – everyone agrees it is worthy to honour Halifax.
But is that the role of the Town of Inuvik?
The town gets its money from taxes, whether from Inuvik residents, Northwest Territories residents or Canadians through federal transfers.
Using the town as a money pot from which to donate to councillors’ pet interests seems inappropriate.
Canadians can make their own decisions on what to support with donations. We don’t need to be taxed for a supreme council to decide where our generosity belongs.
Moreover, it incentivizes people not to donate if they assume that’s the government’s role.
It’s easy for town councillors to hand $500 to this group or $1,000 to that one, but it’s not a healthy practice.
There are all sorts of worthy causes and people to honour. They should be honoured and those causes should be championed.
But it should be done by passionate individuals, not the local government.