Charities, non-profits and voluntary organizations have come together with the chair and co-chair of the Senate’s committee on the charitable sector to call upon parties and candidates to address what they term a “slowly intensifying crisis”.
The letter highlights 8 recommendations for the political parties to consider:
- Establishing a secretariat to create a home for the sector within the federal government beyond the Canada Revenue Agency;
- Updating federal grants and contribution agreements to cover certain overhead and administrative costs, and to replace precarious funding opportunities with long-term commitments;
- Implementing a national volunteerism strategy to recognize this country’s dedicated volunteers and encourage more Canadians to contribute to the betterment of their communities;
- Initiating a human resources renewal plan to promote decent work and pensions for workers in the sector;
- Investing in more Statistics Canada programs that collect and analyze data on the sector, as well as the regular and predictable deployment of the General Social Survey and the Satellite Account of Non-Profit Institutions and Volunteering;
- Moving the appeals of Canada Revenue Agency decisions on the rejection and suspension of charitable status from the Federal Court of Appeals to the Tax Court of Canada;
- Examining ways to increase capital and revenue streams for the sector and strengthening and growing Canada’s donor base; and
- Working with the sector to modernize Canada’s charity laws and regulations, including through the CRA’s Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector.
You can read the letter here: VoteCharitably Open Letter
The Senate committee released a report in June, Catalyst for Change: A Roadmap to a Stronger Charitable Sector. While focused on the charitable sector, the report makes 42 recommendations many of which affect the non-profit sector as well. For example, the report calls for a minimum of two years for federal funding and application and reporting requirements commensurate with the level of funding. The report is worth a read: Catalyst for Change: A Roadmap to a Stronger Charitable Sector
A national network of organizations, people and researchers concerned about adult literacy in Canada has prepared a list of questions for all 21 political parties involved in the federal election. The responses will be shared later in the campaign.
Here are the questions – please feel free to use them with local candidates:
- What is your party’s position on establishing a national adult literacy policy?
- How will your party support collaboration and coordination across government and stakeholders to best support our population’s potential?
- How will your party integrate literacy and essential skills development into sectoral policies in areas like employment, health, the environment, settlement, culture, the promotion of the Official Languages, and work with Indigenous peoples?
- How is your party prepared to commit to federal funding for literacy?
- How will your party address the particular literacy needs of Indigenous peoples, people living in official language minority communities, and newcomers to Canada?
- What is your party’s plan with respect to implementing Canada’s commitments to UNESCO and on the international stage in the fields of literacy and adult education?
- How will your party convene conversations about lifelong learning for adults experiencing challenges because of lower literacy skills?
- How will you address the fundamental learning needs of those adults who are unable to transition to jobs in the new economy because of lower literacy skills?
The questions and the documents that accompany these questions can be found here:
They are also at http://cdeacf.ca/actualite/2019/09/06/pour-succes-investissez-alphabetisation
Frontier College is hosting a national forum on literacy and civic engagement on September 17th. The in-person forum will be in Winnipeg, with 10 concurrent conferences in a number of locations as well as a webcast.
The topic is extremely relevant with the federal election underway. The forum will address how low literacy skills can act as a barrier to full civic participation.
For details and to register, please go to: https://www.frontiercollege.ca/News/Blog/August-2019/Register-now-for-our-national-forum-on-literacy-an
A group of organizations and individuals committed to promoting literacy for all has prepared material for the upcoming federal election. We are releasing these in advance of September 8th, International Literacy Day.
Attached is the ILD statement “Choose Success” which includes a list of signatories and a backgrounder “The State of Literacy in Canada.” These documents are available for you to distribute and/or use in your newsletters or communications channels. I have the documents in French if you need them.
The group will also be preparing a set of question to put to the federal political parties in advance of the 2019 federal election. We will share these so you may, if you wish, use them with your local candidates.
Please use the hashtag #literacy4all or #alphabétisationpourtous.