Dear AFP Greater Vancouver Members, we are pleased to share an update on recent advocacy in relation to the upcoming Federal Election on Monday September 20, 2021. In future days, we also hope to provide an overview of major party platforms in relation to our sector and what we can do as members to advocate for our profession and the sector with the election only 12 days away.
We reached out to all the candidates in the riding of Vancouver-East (home to the GR Committee Chair) to ask about their respective party platforms related to the non-profit and charitable sector. Only one of those candidates replied.
Ms. Jenny Kwan, the current incumbent for Vancouver – East wanted to thank all of us for our work during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and inform us that the NDP believes that more needs to be done to ensure that Canada’s charities and not-for-profits can continue to provide our vital services. She then highlighted that the NDP aims to take immediate action to save not-for-profit childcare centres and create 500,000 units of non-profit housing. While unfortunate that there was only one response, Vancouver – East, is considered a New Democratic Party stronghold.
While we did not hear directly from the other candidates, our partners at Imagine Canada, have been able to provide us with some insight into the platforms for each of the major federal parties in relation to the Non-profit sector.
Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservatives, led by Erin O’Toole have released their platform entitled Canada’s Recovery Plan.
- A commitment to increase the disbursement quota for charitable foundations from 3.5% to 7.5%.
Note: In the April 2021 budget, the current government stated that they already investigating methods to increase this disbursement quota, with a goal of releasing an additional $1 to $2 billion, the Conservative commitment seems to significantly increase this number.
- A commitment to cut red-tape regarding international development projects, which currently are required to be directly controlled by a Canadian charity. No concrete details are provided.
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberals, led by current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have released their fully costed platform entitled Forward for Everyone. Much of this platform was previously unveiled in April as part of the 2021 Federal budget.
- If re-elected, the Liberals plan to extend the eligibility of its $650M Canada Small Business Financing Program to include non-profit and charitable social enterprises.
- A commitment to extend the Canada Recover Hiring Program to March 31, 2022.
- An Arts and Culture Recovery Program, which would match ticket sales for performing arts, live theatres and other cultural venues to compensate for ongoing reduced capacity.
- As part of its commitment to a $10/day childcare, the Liberals hope to increase childcare spaces, primarily within the Not-for-profit sector.
New Democratic Party
The NDP, led by Jagmeet Singh, who is the Member of Parliament for Burnaby South has released their platform entitled Ready for Better.
- No direct commitments for the sector.
- A commitment to save not-for-profit childcare centres that are at a risk of closure due to closed spaces because of the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic.
- A commitment to create fast-start funds to help kick-start the construction of co-ops, social and non-profit housing.
- A commitment to investment in social infrastructure such as community centres, long-term care and childcare centers. These organizations are predominantly part of the Non-profit sector.
Green Party of Canada
The Green Party, led by Annamie Paul, has yet to publish a platform regarding the 2021 election and states that it will roll one out in pieces due to the length of the campaign.
What are AFP Canada’s priorities for this election?
AFP Canada has two priorities for advocacy during this federal election.
- Establish a home in government.
- There are mutual benefits for establishing strong relations with both incumbent and incoming Members of Parliament.
- We can help educate MPs as well as influence policies which have a direct impact on all our members.
- Seek an equitable recovery from the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic.
- Continue to assist in long-term planning to build sector resilience.
- An equitable recovery will encourage donors to continue their support with the knowledge that the sector will persevere.
What can you do as a AFP member?
AFP Canada suggests the following ways for how we can advocate for our sector. Feel free to consult the AFP Canada 2021 Election Toolkit, which will provide you with useful tools for your own advocacy efforts.
- Engage with your local candidates, find your riding here. The Elections Canada website will give you information on each candidate in your riding.
- Ask them about their experiences with our sector.
- Ask them about where they stand on our priorities.
- Attend and ask questions at debates in your riding.
- Share your actions and candidate responses via your social media platforms, using the hashtag #fundraisersvote.
- Most importantly, VOTE! Information about voting is available on the Elections Canada website.
- Advanced Voting is available between Friday, September 10 to Monday, September 13, 2021.
- Voting by Mail requires a special application which has a deadline of Tuesday, September 14, 2021.
Moving forward, AFP Greater Vancouver will engage with Members of Parliament shortly after the election. We will continue to advocate for our sector and ultimately to ensure that our members and sector remains resilient as we continue the fight against COVID-19.
Dear AFP Greater Vancouver Members, Your Government Relations committee would like to share some highlights from both the federal and provincial budgets announced earlier this week. Unsurprisingly, the budgets focus on outlining how Canada and British Columbia will finish the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and begin the road to economic recovery.
Direct impacts on our sector:
The federal budget provides greater direct support for our sector compared to the BC budget, though both contain measures to support the important work of our organizations.
- Federal: $400M Community Services Recovery Fund which will directly aid our industry and provide core operating supporting funding.
- Federal: Public consultations regarding a potential increase of the disbursement quota required of charitable foundations. The government forecasts that this could potentially lead to an additional $1B – $2B being infused in our sector.
- Federal: Plans to advance several measures related to empowering the CRA when it comes to oversight of charities with a primary focus on combatting terrorism and fraud within the sector.
- Provincial: Commitment of roughly 25% of the BC Lottery Corporation’s gaming income to support its Community Gaming Grants.
- Net income from gaming saw a significant decline last year, dropping to $383M in 2020/21.
- The province forecasts net income will return to pre-pandemic levels of $1.4B by 2023/24.
Impact on the Arts, Culture, Tourism and Sports:
We recognize that some of our members work in sectors that have been even more heavily impacted by the pandemic compared to others and wanted to highlight specific supports for your sub-sectors.
- Federal: $1B commitment over three years to support tourism, arts and culture.
- $200M for major festivals, managed by regional development agencies.
- $200M for local festivals, managed by Canadian Heritage.
- $500M for local tourism, managed by regional development agencies.
- Federal: $300M commitment over two years to create the Recovery Fund for Heritage, Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors.
- Federal: $50M commitment over three years to support performing arts and community events, administered by Canadian Heritage.
- Federal: $70M commitment over three years, including $50M immediately to support the Canada Music Fund. This will provide funding for musicians and live music venues.
- Provincial: $120M earmarked towards supporting tourism, arts and culture. This funding was previously announced in Fall 2020 and remains ongoing.
- Includes a onetime grant of $45K for those in the Tourism sector and $30K for all others.
- The province is including support for anchor attractions throughout the province.
- Provincial: A commitment of $6M over three years to the Arts Infrastructure Program, which will provide grants of up to $250K to support major capital projects.
Both the federal and provincial government remain committed to supporting employers as we near the end of the pandemic and look towards kickstarting our economic recovery. Many of our organizations will remain eligible for the following supports.
- Federal: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support (CERB) until September 2021.
- Federal: $600M to launch the Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which will provide employers with $1,129 per week for employees hired between June 6, 2021 and November 20, 2021.
- Federal: a $370M investment in the Canada Summer Jobs which will provide a 100% wage subsidy for youth employed in our sector.
- Provincial: $150M to support the Increased Employment Incentive. This will provide a one-time tax credit for eligible employers.
Other Items of Note:
The following items may not directly impact our sector, but are important programs to support some of those most vulnerable or marginalized in our communities.
- Federal: National Childcare Program
- Childcare is being recognized by both the federal and provincial government as a vehicle to kickstart our economic recovery.
- Quebec saw a 1.7% increase in its GDP after it created a provincial childcare program.
- $30B over five years to create a national childcare program with an eventual goal of $10/day childcare by 2025/26.
- While all Canadians will benefit, this program will especially benefit women, who make up most of the employees in our sector.
- It will be interesting to see if this program, aimed at accelerating our economy will also accelerate the rate at which women donate to non-profits.
- Provincial: A doubling of its $10-a-day program childcare spaces over the next three years. Total spaces will increase to 3,750.
- Federal: $300M commitment to support Black communities.
- $200M to support the creation of a new Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund, which will directly combat anti-Black racism and improve economic outcomes in Black communities.
- $100M to create Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiatives, which will support capacity building in the community including Black-led non-profits.
- This is a significant commitment from the federal government as a recent study Unfunded: Black Communities are Overlooked by Canadian Philanthropy showed that black charities receive only seven cents for every $100 donated to major charities.
- Federal: A $172M commitment over five years to support Statistics Canada implementing a Disaggregated Data Action Plan.
- This will help the government fill data and knowledge gaps and allow it to make better and more equal decisions regarding all Canadians.
- This is also an area of advocacy for AFP Canada, as one of our key policy priorities is comprehensive data collection by Statistics Canada on our sector. Our national colleagues will hopefully be able to share more about this in the coming months.
Overall, we can see that there are many great initiatives on both a federal and provincial level that will help our sector continue its recovery and emerge stronger than ever from this pandemic. While the federal government did not commit to incentivizing donations which was one of the three recommendations from the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, their budget does include much needed direct stimulus for our sector. AFP Canada will continue to work with our partners to advocate for all members and the industry on a federal level. Locally, we will continue to engage with Ms. Niki Sharma, BC’s Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-profits to ensure that our sector remains heard and supported.
Thank you for your continued support of AFP Greater Vancouver and for the incredible work you do to fill needs in our neighbourhoods, communities, cities and our province.
The AFP Greater Vancouver Chapter is committed to providing the best possible service to its members, partners, advertisers and community stakeholders. It is why we are embarking on a project to upgrade our existing website.
Proposals are due February 28, 2021 and we hope to have a decision made on the successful provider no more than three weeks after that. Please help us share the word among your network.
With the 2021 federal budget just around the corner, now is the time to remind members of Parliament how they can make a difference to the countless Canadians who rely on charities that enrich the fabric of our lives as well as provide essential services.
Unfortunately, too many organizations in our sector are struggling not only to meet the increased demand for services, but simply to survive. Some have already had to close their doors, further impacting those who are most vulnerable in our communities.
The government can help charities and nonprofits across our country by:
- Extending emergency support programs;
- Making a direct financial investment in community organizations; and
- Exploring programs that encourage donations to charities.
Take Action. It’s time to remind the government how it can help. You can help in the following ways:
- Contact your MP. It’s quick and easy and will make a difference.
- Encourage your colleagues, family and friends to contact their MP.
- Submit or re-submit a brief. Our sector colleagues at Imagine Canada have prepared a comprehensive toolkit.
- Participate in the budget survey.
The two key messages we aim to share with the government are a) investing in our sector and b) eliminating the capital gains tax on donations of private company shares and real estate.
For several months, AFP, in partnership with CAGP and other sector partners, has been engaged on the issue of life insurance to charities in British Columbia. The provincial regulator, BC Financial Services Authority, recently issued clarification about its position on this matter. In general, gifts of life insurance to charities and the advertising of such, is permitted by BCFSA. They have encouraged charities to adopt best practices with respect to promoting gifts of life insurance. AFP Greater Vancouver Chapter is working on those and will release them to our membership and the wider community in the coming weeks. In the meantime, information about gifts of life insurance can be included in a charity’s marketing and promotional materials, but we strongly recommend that they include neutral language and encourage donors to seek their own professional advice before considering this option. More information is included in the link below. Thank you to all the AFP members who have been following this issue and sharing their own experiences.