Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

The first few weeks of the year have been very busy as FOPL and a few our of member libraries attended budget consultations for the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs and The Ministry of Finance consultations. Thank you to everyone who applied for deputations with the Standing Committee and to those who were accepted and spoke. We were able to have full representation in each area across Ontario and heard from libraries such as Leeds and Thousand Islands, Ottawa, Blue Mountains, Dryden and Clarence-Rockland. The Standing Committee consultations are multi-partisan and they prepare a joint report that is tabled with the Legislature outlining their recommendations. Strategically, this is the most effective way in engaging with the opposition parties, particularly to reinforce the platform discussions we’ve already had as they look towards the election. We have submitted our official, joint (with OLA) Pre-Budget submission to the Standing Committee and will be submitting an amended version to the Ministry of Finance as well. The Pre-Budget submission is attached and will be posted on our website.

Directly after the deputation, Caroline Goulding was interviewed by the CBC and did a fantastic job representing the library community. Congratulations Caroline! If you haven’t already done so, please give a listen: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-84/clip/15888245

FOPL and OLA were invited to speak to the Minister of Finance last week Friday. These consultations are overseen by the current government so they will very much reflect the campaign platform that the Ford PC’s will be seeking re-election with. The MOF is directly responsible for preparing the budget so we were extremely fortunate to be invited to speak. As we were invited to the Windsor session, we were able to add in some impactful local anecdotes from Windsor Public Library and Bkejwanong First Nations Public Library.

FOPL and OLA, along with Counsel Public Affairs, will be presenting at the OLA Super Conference next week regarding advocacy for our libraries during the election year. More information about the session can be found here.  I hope to “see” many of you there!