Quebec to invest $1.1 billion in community action by 2027

Mathieu Paquette, Canadian Press

MONTREAL – Quebec promises better days for community organizations in the province, which has been particularly hard hit by a lack of resources with increased demand in the last years of the pandemic.

The Legault government wants to help them pursue their mission and recognize their importance to society; therefore, it will invest $1.1 billion over the next five years to implement the government action plan for community action 2022-2027.

Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity said at a press conference on Saturday that this investment will be used to improve and expand the offerings of community organizations to help them achieve their mission.

Specifically, the plan provides $888.1 million allocated to increased government funding to support the overall mission of community organizations, while $186.8 million will be used to improve working conditions, staff training and human resource management.

“Community action is a truly essential component for Quebec’s social and economic development,” said Minister Boulet, particularly in the wide variety of areas involved: from homelessness to perseverance at school, domestic violence, drug addiction, integration and more. more.

“It is a plan that includes consistent, global and concrete actions. I am happy to announce that; We are talking about $1.1 billion in five years,” he added.

The government promises to improve the ability of community organizations to act by offering financial support commensurate with their mandate. Therefore, each organization will have to present its mission to Québec, and Québec will then be able to offer the necessary subsidies to achieve its goals.

A process that will remain simple, Mr. Boulet assured in an interview with the Canadian Press: “All funding requests to community organizations supported by my department will be simplified. We will work with them to alleviate bureaucratic work as much as possible.

In addition to supporting existing organizations, Quebec is providing an envelope of $9.4 million over five years to help new players establish themselves in their communities.

The endless challenge of recruiting and retaining

As non-governmental organizations have not recovered from the labor shortage, Minister Boulet promised that incentives will be implemented to work or volunteer at an organization.

This will take the form of expanding access to the pension scheme and group insurance, especially for new employees, but Mr Boulet also stressed the importance of properly educating those who want to work in the community.

The minister stressed that to get off to a good start in a community action career, you must first take advantage of this type of intervention-tailored education. As such, the plan provides $4.4 million to improve existing education and make it more relevant to current reality.

The plan also mentions the need to take steps to ensure that education is better adapted to the realities of Aboriginal and Anglophone organizations and people with disabilities.

“According to Mr. Boulet, you should retain young talents who want to work in the community sector. I mean, they should have access to education, benefits, pension plans, group insurance, that’s it.”

still work to do

The Quebec Autonomous Community Action Network welcomed Minister Boulet’s discussion of the plan, but believes that investments in the overall mission of independent community action organizations are very low compared to other sectors.

Its coordinator, Caroline Toupin, said: “The problem is that there is not enough money for the global mission and there are industries that are being left behind. Because of this, many were disappointed and even angered, because the situation is critical on the ground as the needs of the population increase.

The minister said that although the plan is five years old, it is not fixed and can be adapted according to the reactions of the field.

In particular, the government will create a Table of National Community Action Partners to coordinate actions between the various organisations.

“This will allow them to brainstorm ideas, give themselves a vision of the future of community action in Quebec, and see how we can better contribute to the vitality of Quebec society and economy,” the minister said.

According to Mr. Boulet, the entire Quebec community will benefit from these investments for nonprofits.