Quebec promises brighter days for community organizations, which have had a rough time during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a lack of resources and increased demand.
Legault’s government has said it will invest $1.1 billion over the next five years in its 2022-2027 “community action” plan.
Social Solidarity Minister Jean Boulet said the investment will improve and expand the services provided to community organizations to help them accomplish their mission.
The plan includes $888.1 million to support the overall missions of community organizations, while $186.8 million will improve working conditions, employee training, and human resource management.
“Community action is a really necessary component of Quebec’s social and economic development,” Boulet said.
“It is a coherent and comprehensive plan that includes concrete actions.”
To receive government grants, organizations will be required to submit their mission, a process Boulet said would be as straightforward as possible.
“All funding requests for community organizations supported by my department will be streamlined,” he told the Canadian Press. “We will work in cooperation with them to ensure that all aspects of the bureaucracy are reduced as much as possible.”
In addition to supporting existing organizations, Quebec is providing $9.4 million over five years to help new players establish in their communities.
Boulet said incentives to work and volunteer will be put in place to help organizations combat labor shortages. This includes expanding access to retirement and group insurance plans, especially for new employees.
The plan also includes $4.4 million to improve training for workers in the nonprofit sector.
The plan also ensures that training will be better adapted to the realities faced by organizations serving indigenous, English-speaking and disabled communities.
More work to be done?
Réseau québécois de l’action communautaire autonome, a Quebec community-based action group, has welcomed the rollout of the Bole plan, but believes the investment is too low compared to other sectors.
“The problem is that there is not enough money for the overall mission and there are sectors that are being neglected,” said Carolyn Toban, the group’s coordinator. “And this is the reason for the disappointment and even anger of many, because the situation is critical on the ground, and this is while the needs of the population are increasing.”
Boulet responded that the plan was not fixed and could be modified over time.
The minister said that the government will establish a schedule of community action partners to coordinate efforts between the various organizations.
“It will allow them to brainstorm, to give themselves a vision of the future of community work in Quebec and see how we can best contribute to the vitality of the community and Quebec’s economy.”