Canada's Charities and Nonprofits are extremely disappointed that the
Budget fails to acknowledge the role they play in helping vulnerable
OTTAWA, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - This Budget made very little mention of Canada's
charities and nonprofit organizations as they enter a period of increasing
economic difficulty in meeting their mandates to serve vulnerable Canadians -
despite the fact that Canada has 161,000 registered charities and nonprofits.
These organizations marshal more than 12 million volunteers and 2 billion
hours of volunteer time. They employ a workforce of 2 million full-time
equivalent workers - 11% of the economically active population. Together, this
activity accounts for 8.5% of Canada's GDP.
Imagine Canada, a national charitable organization that looks into and
out for Canada's charities and nonprofits, had brought forward three
recommendations to the Finance Minister following a consultation process with
organizations across the sector. The resulting Brief to the Finance Minister
proposed measures that would have contributed to the capacity of these
organizations to maintain mission-critical services to our most vulnerable
citizens and communities as these organizations face new demands for services
and declining resources.
"We said to government 'we're part of the solution -- we're here to
help.' We called upon the Finance Minister to adopt measures that would
have stimulated giving at a time when giving is needed most. We asked
this Government to hold the line on federal funding for charities and
organizations delivering mission-critical services to communities.
Instead, the federal budget was silent on these matters," says Marcel
Lauzière, President & CEO of Imagine Canada.
"Over the past weeks and months, Canadians have heard and read in the
media that demands on charitable organizations are on the rise. The
ability of these organizations to continue to deliver often mission-
critical programs and services is increasingly at risk in light of
difficult economic circumstances that tend to constrain both public
grants and private giving," continued Marcel Lauzière. "This is a missed
On January 15, Imagine Canada submitted a Brief to the Prime Minister and
the Minister of Finance on Short-Term Stimulus Measures for Assisting
Canadians and Communities during the Economic Downturn. The Brief put forward
three key stimulative measures to assist Canada's vulnerable populations and
the organizations that support them for consideration by the Finance Minister
prior to the Budget's release.
First, there should not be cuts to funding to organizations receiving
federal grants and contributions agreements that assist in the delivery of
programs and services to communities at this time.
"We are extremely disappointed that the government was silent on the
issue of federal funding to Canada's charities and nonprofits. These
organizations face new and increasing demands for services and declining
resources. We called on the government to hold the line. We will be
looking for those assurances and watching to make sure that these
organizations are not subject to cuts as they, too, struggle in this
economy to serve Canadians in their communities," comments Marcel
Second, the charitable tax credit should be enhanced to stimulate
charitable giving by ordinary Canadians, by providing for an increase to the
credit on any increased giving in each of the next 3 years, for up to $15,000
per year in new giving.
Mr. Lauzière further offers, "We regret very much that the government did
not provide for measures to stimulate charitable giving. Businesses and
charities alike had joined in calling for these measures. We will
continue to call for measures that would provide short-term stimulus on
Third, we asked that a portion of the federal infrastructure funding
should be earmarked for projects that contribute to community and social
infrastructure as well as being sizable construction initiatives, including
arts and culture and sports and recreation infrastructure initiatives.
"On this, we are pleased to see that some infrastructure funds have been
specifically earmarked for Culture and Sport. However, there is a lack of
clarity around which programs will require matching funds to be raised by
nonprofit organizations in order go forward," added Marcel Lauzière.
For more details on Imagine Canada's proposed measures, download the full
Asked to comment on next steps, Don McCreesh, the volunteer national Chair
of Imagine Canada, noted:
"We recognize that Budgets are annual events and we will continue to work
with Canada's 161,000 charities and nonprofits across the county to bring
forward measures to government that can assist vulnerable Canadians by
providing adequate resources to the organizations that support them
during this difficult time. Imagine Canada and the charitable and
nonprofit sector are here to stay."
Every Canadian in every community across our country is touched in some
way by the work of Canada's 161,000 mission-based charitable and nonprofit
organizations. They work with our children, feed the hungry, provide emergency
and social services, research cures for diseases, promote physical activity,
and preserve our cultural and artistic heritage. These organizations provide
services and programs in every corner of the country, from homeless shelters
to arts and culture, health charities, environmental networks, United Ways,
community foundations and many more.
The Government of Canada plays a central role in funding important
programs and services for Canadians through direct grants and contributions,
and through tax measures that have an important stimulative effect on giving.
Both are critical forms of financial support, especially during difficult
Imagine Canada is a national charitable organization that looks into and
out for Canada's charities and nonprofit organizations. It advances knowledge
and relationships to foster effective and sustainable charitable and nonprofit
Background of Imagine Canada's activities in regards to Federal Budget
Imagine Canada's Short-Term Stimulus Measures for Assisting Canadians and
Communities during the Economic Downturn Brief to the Federal Government:
Imagine Canada Media Centre:
Statistical Highlights on Canada's Charitable and Nonprofit Sector
For further information:
For further information: Marnie Grona (English media), Senior Manager,
Marketing & Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-800-263-1178 x244 or
(416) 597-2293, (416) 300-7220 cell; Amanda Mayer (French media), Imagine
Canada - Ottawa, email@example.com, 1-800-821-8814 x239 or (613)
238-7555, (613) 292-0569 cell; see: www.imaginecanada.ca; Marcel Lauzière,
President & CEO of Imagine Canada, is available for interviews. Please call
the contacts above to schedule an interview with Mr. Lauzière.