Quebec will invest $1.1 billion in community organizations by 2027

“Community action is a truly essential component of Quebec’s social and economic development,” said Quebec Labor Minister Jean Boulet.

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Quebec promises better days for community organizations across the province, which have had a particularly difficult time during the pandemic due to a lack of resources and increased demand.

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The province says it wants to help organizations pursue their mission and recognize their importance to society, which is why it will invest $1.1 billion over the next five years to implement its Community Action Plan 2022-2027 .

At a press conference on Saturday, Quebec Labor Minister Jean Boulet said the investment will be used to improve and expand the services offered by community organizations to help them accomplish their missions.

The plan provides increased government funding of $888 million to help organizations achieve their goals, while $186 million will be used to improve working conditions, staff training and human resource management.

“Community action is a truly essential component of Quebec’s social and economic development,” said Boulet, especially given the diversity of issues that organizations are tackling: from homelessness to schooling, including domestic violence, drug addiction, integration and more.

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“It’s a plan that is coherent, comprehensive and includes concrete actions,” added Boulet.

Organizations will be able to apply for grants through the plan by presenting their missions to the government. Boulet promised the process would be simple.

In addition to supporting existing organizations, Quebec is providing $9 million over five years to help new ones settle in their communities.

Given that community organizations are not spared from the persistent labor shortage, Mr. Boulet indicated that incentives for working or volunteering with an organization will also be put in place. This will include expanded access to retirement and group insurance, especially for new hires.

Boulet also insisted on the importance of properly training the people who want to do the job.

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“We need to retain young talent who wants to work in the community sector,” Boulet said. “So the training, the benefits, the pension plans, the group insurance – they have to have access to that.”

The Quebec Network of Autonomous Community Action has welcomed the plan, but believes that the investments are too low compared to other sectors.

“The problem is that there is not enough money for the whole mission, so there are sectors that are left out”, explains Caroline Toupin, coordinator of the group. “That’s why many are disappointed and even upset, because the situation is critical on the ground, and the needs of the people are increasing at the same time.”

In response, Boulet said the plan is not set in stone and could be adapted based on feedback from people working in the community sector.

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