On Monday, Canada elected a new Liberal Government. The new government’s platform will impact our members, partners, and stakeholders. We have highlighted a few areas of the platform that may relate to nonprofit work, in all sub-sectors, across Alberta.
Nonprofit advocacy in particular is an element of the platform relevant to Volunteer Alberta.
From Volunteer Alberta Executive Director, Jann Beeston:
At Volunteer Alberta we believe, along with many others, that public policy is better when the nonprofit sector voice at the table.
Advocacy is a key part of Volunteer Alberta’s work. We can only do this work through the valuable input from our members, partners, and networks. We have worked in strategic partnership, with other nonprofit organizations, to influence direction related to;
- privacy legislation,
- vulnerable sector police information checks,
- lobbyist act,
- charitable donation tax credit,
- nonprofit data,
- funding mechanisms,
- and the Alberta nonprofit incorporation review.
Your voice is vital. It matters to our work, and to nonprofit advocacy and public policy work that impacts our sector and communities.
The Liberal platform promises to “modernize the rules” governing nonprofit advocacy, stating:
“We will allow charities to do their work on behalf of Canadians free from political harassment, and will modernize the rules governing the charitable and not-for-profit sectors. This will include clarifying the rules governing “political activity,” with an understanding that charities make an important contribution to public debate and public policy. A new legislative framework to strengthen the sector will emerge from this process.”
We will work to find opportunities for Alberta nonprofits to participate in the evolution of this and other new legislative frameworks. Volunteer Alberta will connect with both our strong provincial network of capacity building organizations, and national organization like Volunteer Canada and Imagine Canada. We look forward to working collaboratively and to communicating with the sector on issues that impact across Canada.
Other Areas of Interest
On addition to the Liberal platform promise regarding nonprofit advocacy, the platform includes many other promises that you may want to keep track of as the new government settles in.
The following promises may impact the nonprofit sector under our new federal government:
- Create youth jobs in the heritage sector through the Young Canada Works program.
- Waive Employment Insurance premiums for 12 months for 18-24 years old hired into permanent positions in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
- Technology and Data:
- Crowdsource policy ideas from citizens using technology.
- Increase data collection and availability, including reinstatement of the long-form census and changes to Statistics Canada.
- Invest in affordable housing, seniors’ facilities, early learning and child care, and cultural and recreational infrastructure.
- Create more infrastructure funding and loan opportunities for municipalities.
- Invest in cultural and creative industries, including doubling investment in the Canada Council for the Arts and increased funding for other arts bodies and programs.
- Work with provinces, territories, and other willing partners to address water and soil conservation and development issues.
- Support innovation and the use of clean technologies in the forestry, fisheries, mining, energy, and agricultural sectors.
- Indigenous Peoples:
- Address housing, infrastructure, health and mental health care, community safety and policing, child welfare, and education through a nation-to-nation process with Indigenous Peoples.
- New funding for Indigenous communities to promote and preserve Indigenous languages and cultures.
- Work with experts and advocates to develop and implement a comprehensive federal gender violence strategy and action plan.
- Increase investments in Canada’s network of shelters and transition houses for those fleeing domestic violence.
- People with Disabilities:
- Consult with provinces, territories, and other stakeholders to introduce a National Disabilities Act to eliminate systemic barriers for Canadians with disabilities.
- Housing and Homelessness:
- Commit funding for Housing First initiatives for homeless Canadians.
- International Aid:
- Consult with Canadian and international aid organizations to review current policies and funding frameworks.
- Widen international aid reproductive health services and increase spending on international development.
- Repeal Bills C-377 and C-525 that diminished Canada’s labour movement.
Review the Liberal platform for more information on these promises.
The platform includes further promises on issues that nonprofit sub-sectors and organizations may care about. Find more information on these promises in the platform:
- Funding for post-secondary students
- Accessible mental health services
- Poverty reduction for children and seniors
- Investment in agricultural research and technical and marketing assistance
- Gender equality in government and public policies
- National inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls
- Respect for Indigenous traditions in environmental stewardship
- Climate change response framework and strengthened environmental protections
- Quicker and increased immigration and refugee intake
What is your response to the Liberal government’s platform as it relates to the nonprofit sector and nonprofit organization issues in Alberta? Please share in the comments!