Society suggests residents give a little on the leap year

NANAIMO – Donating time or money on Feb. 29 could mean huge boost to Canadian economy.

Donating a little time or cash on leap year day might boost Canada’s economy.

Laurie Goulay, president of the Vancouver Island and Coast Conservation Society, sees Feb. 29 as a gift to Canadians who might want to consider giving something back on this “free” day.

The non-profit society has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to suggest the federal government encourage Canadians to help their communities and the country by matching leap year day donations. Gourlay estimates, based on a $15 per hour minimum wage rate, if 10 per cent of Canadians donated an eight-hour work day of their time or wages on Feb. 29, the economic stimulus could total the equivalent $500 million.

“We’re just suggesting if you’ve got an extra day out of every four years, you might want to give some of that back to your community,” Gourlay said. “We’re suggesting a couple of hours is pretty reasonable to help in these times.”

He said it could be an hour of service to a local charity or maybe an hour’s wages.

“What I’m trying to say is, ‘Do not ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,'” Gourlay said.

He admits his suggestion is a bit unusual and people are a bit hesitant about it, but the idea is to try and make the world work to everyone’s benefit. Areas that need attention are in the non-profit sector, ranging from climate change initiatives to health care.

“There’s a lack of money in the non-profit sector,” Gourlay said. “They need money to make your life better to help with your quality of life and the standard of living and what they’re doing is picking up the slack because governments are cutting on their budgets and services and those community organizations would be well-served by an hour or two of your time.”

To learn more about the society’s proposal, pleases visit the Vancovuer Island and Coast Conservation Society at http://bit.ly/1KfZj0b.

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