The City of Cold Lake says the ParentLink Centre programs will continue while they foot the bill. City council has given the go-ahead to fund the programs until at least April 30th of this year.

“With decisions on the Family Resource Networks expected in the near future, council opted for interim funding in an attempt to ensure uninterrupted services for families,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “The Parent Link Centre is a prized and highly used facility in our community. The facility has averaged over 24,700 visits a year, providing services that are trusted and used throughout our community and the greater region. Council did not want to see it end without a clear picture of what the future holds.”

In early November, the Government of Alberta announced that it would be cancelling grants and contracts with the 300 organizations that operate Parent Link Centres, effective March 31, 2020. The Government of Alberta’s Children’s Services Family and Community Resiliency Division is currently examining proposals from organizations to provide services for children ages 0-18 years, as well as to their parents and caregivers, under a new Family Resource Network model.

Bonnyville went ahead with an expression of interest in being a hub for the new funding model back in November of 2019 as has Cold Lake and Lac La Biche.

The Cold Lake Parent Link Centre costs about $25,000 a month to operate. Council voted to provide one month of interim funding and will review the program as additional information becomes available through the province’s Family Resource Network selection process in the coming weeks.