Recognition and adequate funding required by Laurentian community organizations
As part of its winter tour, the Regroupement des organismes communautaires des Laurentides (ROCL) held a press briefing with about 40 of its member groups to remind the Legault government of the recently tabled decrees and to request adequate mission-based funding to support all community organizations.
With the initiative of the Engagez-vous pour le communautaire national campaign, Laurentian organizations, as well as those in the rest of Quebec, sent community decrees to Premier François Legault and Finance Minister Éric Girard, calling on the government to respond to the needs of the community movement in the 2023 budget. The ROCL also sent a request for a meeting with Mr. Girard, a member of Parliament for the riding of Groulx, to remind him of the main demands of the community movement, but it was declined after several weeks of waiting.
MAVN support, an increase of $460 million in support for the overall mission of all organizations, the annual indexation of funding, respect for the autonomy of organizations and the obligation for all government departments and organizations to respect the Politique de reconnaissance de l’action communautaire autonome are the four main demands included in the decree.
“As the CAQ enters its first budget since being re-elected, community organizations have high expectations for their base funding. The Legault government is quite adept at making big media announcements while the amounts of money announced, always insufficient, often come down in a targeted manner without taking into account the needs or approaches of community organizations. Organizations are often forced to develop new projects or work with restrictive agreements rather than being supported in their mission,” explains Benoit Larocque, coordinator of the ROCL.
“Instead, organizations have been burned by being considered essential during the pandemic without receiving adequate funding to strengthen their work teams and meet the increased needs of their members. Furthermore, there is a growing sense of the extent to which the government considers organizations to be part of the health care system, even though they are autonomous and are not meant to intervene where the state has withdrawn, but rather to defend social rights.” he continued.
Keep in mind that the government’s recent investments under the Plan d’action gouvernemental en action communautaire (PAGAC) are insufficient to meet the minimum needs of all independent community organizations. As more and more people need help and flock to the doors of these organizations, they are struggling to strengthen their work teams and respond to needs.
The Observatoire de l’ACA recently reported that community organizations are reaching a breaking point. “The lack of funding does not allow them to open new positions, and the work teams of community organizations are unable to respond to the demands that have increased significantly with the crisis. In addition, the conditions offered for the existing positions are unattractive and the work climate is marked by an overload leading to the exhaustion of the teams in place,” the report states.
In this context, community organizations are reaching a breaking point, leading to interruptions in operations and even closures. 97% of organizations are experiencing workload issues while 83% of organizations would need to hire additional staff, an average of 2.8 people per organization.
It is time for the Legault government to act because it has the means to do better. The next provincial budget must respond to the demands of the community movement. The future of our social safety net and the well-being of the population are at stake.
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The ROCL is a large group of more than 160 independent community action organizations working in the Laurentians. Each year, Laurentian organizations carry out over 200,000 direct interventions with the population. Some work to help families, women, the poor, people with disabilities, youth, advocacy, literacy, consumer affairs, community credit and international solidarity. The organizations carry values of social justice and equality.
Their approaches aim at a reappropriation of power by the people so that each and everyone can act as a full citizen. Listening, mutual aid, and information and public education activities are an integral part of their daily lives.
For more information:
Benoit Larocque / 450-438-8005