Social Planning Toronto says the Ontario budget “shortchanges” low-income communities and non-profits hit hardest by the pandemic.
In a response to Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, the organization “committed to building a Civic Society” says “more must be done by our provincial government to put money into the pockets” of low-income people.
While the budget is projecting a record $38.5 billion deficit – $15 billion of that to support business and health care – “the province fails to target financial support to those who need it the most.”
“Where the Government of Ontario does provide money, for example through the additional $200 per child to help with educational expenses, it takes a blanket approach,” the council says. “Every person across Ontario has experienced the challenges and ramifications from COVID-19. However, low-income residents and seniors, women, and Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities disproportionately carry the burden.”
At the same time, the organization says, “the pandemic has left many nonprofits doing more with less, having to respond to increased community demand for services while facing COVID-19 challenges and decreased funding.”
The group points out that in Toronto alone, “more than 105,000 people work in the nonprofit sector, generating 8 per cent of our city’s GDP.”
Some $60 million is being allocated in the province’s budget for arts, cultural, sport, and francophone nonprofits, but Social Planning Toronto says that’s “a drop in the bucket” compared to the $680 million the Ontario Nonprofit Network says is needed to stabilize the sector.