Party Platform Commitments to Public Libraries

Party Platform Analysis and Library Commitments OLA and FOPL have spent the last 6 months engaging with all political parties to discuss the importance of strong provincial support for public libraries. Locally, OLA and FOPL members are communicating with candidates and incumbents using the Joint Libraries Elections Brief for 2022.  With the NDP and Green Party platforms released this week, almost all parties have now included support for libraries in their platforms. Operational Funding for Public Libraries Funding for First Nation Public Libraries Funding for Digital Public Libraries Other Commitment PC Party of Ontario Supporting broadband upgrades at approximately 50 libraries with a provincial investment through the Connecting Public Libraries initiative (2021) $4.85 M Ontario NDP Increase provincial funding for brick-and-mortar libraries: $14M in 2022-23; $21M in 2023-24 and 2024-25 Support First Nations libraries $2M in 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25 Increase provincial funding for digital library services $6M in 2022-23; $9M in 2023-24 and 2024-25 Ontario Liberal Party Invest $2 million in First Nations Public Libraries since only 30% of First Nations reserves have libraries. $2M/year Invest in digitizing Ontario’s public libraries – giving all Ontarians access to free e-learning, online resources and more e-books. $2M in 2022; $9M in 2023 Menstrual products in libraries. Rural Development Fund to build or repair crucial community rural infrastructure like libraries. $50M starting in 2023 Green Party of Ontario Increase funding for local libraries and ramp up publicity around the important community programming that they offer. $15M/year (2022-23 to 2025-26) Platform Details PC Party of Ontario: The Ontario government released their 2022 Budget on April 28, 2022. No new library commitments are mentioned in this budget, and OLA...

May 2022

As the election is less than a month away, most political parties have announced their platforms and commitments. Our hard work in the past 8 months is evident in the commitments made by the Liberal and NDP parties who have promised significant investments in public libraries and school libraries. Congratulations and thank you to all of our members who have advocated alongside FOPL and OLA. Below, we have summarized the various commitments to public libraries that each party has made. This should help inform your election advocacy as you reach out to your surrounding candidates. PC Party of Ontario: The Ontario government released their 2022 Budget on April 28, 2022. No new library commitments are mentioned in this budget, and OLA is working to confirm whether existing provincial funding in support of public libraries is maintained at the previous level. The budget does highlight the previously announced investments in broadband upgrades at libraries: “Supporting broadband upgrades at approximately 50 libraries with a provincial investment of $4.85 million through the Connecting Public Libraries initiative.” (p. 45) Ontario NDP: The NDP platform was released on April 25, 2022. The NDP have included the following commitments regarding libraries in their platform: “COMMITMENT Increase provincial funding for brick-and-mortar libraries and digital library services, recognizing the vital role local public libraries play in our communities.” (p. 41) Full costing for this commitment is expected soon. Ontario Liberal Party: The Ontario Liberal Party costed platform was released on May 9, 2022. The Liberal Party has included the following commitments regarding public libraries in their platform: “We’ll invest in digitizing Ontario’s public libraries – giving all Ontarians access to free e-learning, online resources and...

Great News from OLS!

The Ontario Library Service (OLS) continues to work towards implementing the Connecting Public Libraries Initiative on behalf of the Province of Ontario. Last year, the government announced an investment of $4.85 million to upgrade high-speed internet at approximately 50 public libraries in unserved and underserved communities across the province. We are delighted to report that through the successful Request for Proposal (RFP) process, we will be able to upgrade 111 library locations, which more than doubles the original target of 50 public library branches. Through the Connecting Public Libraries Initiative, these 111 locations in unserved and underserved communities in Ontario will have an opportunity to improve their high-speed internet connectivity.  This investment in high-speed internet by the Province of Ontario will provide greater community access to education and vital services, while creating economic opportunity and contributing to economic growth. “Our government understands how important it is for people to be connected and be able to take part in today’s digital economy,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “This exciting initiative to increase broadband capabilities at more than 100 public libraries will provide Ontarians in unserved and underserved communities across the province with better access to digital resources and services – including digital collections, online skills training and career development. We thank the Ontario Library Service for leading this important project.” “Our government is working tirelessly to ensure that every region in Ontario has access to high-speed internet services by the end of 2025,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “Through the Connecting Public Libraries Initiative, more local libraries will be able to provide reliable high-speed internet...

FOPL Annual Info Series

The Federation of Ontario Public Libraries is please to announce a new annual info series.  The info series will be comprised of four webinars which are free for our members that focus on furthering advocacy efforts of libraries across the province. The first two webinars, Building Partnerships with First Nations Public Libraries and Advocating for Development Charges, are live and available for registration. For more information on each session and for registration, please visit FOPL’s Eventbrite page:...

Respectful Terminology: Creating a National Framework

The National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance (NIKLA) will be hosting a webinar; Respectful Terminology: Creating the Framework. This national event is centered on identifying the next steps to develop a framework for respectful terminology.  This free event is scheduled for Monday, May 2, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST. For registration and more information, visit the NIKLA website:...