We have had encouraging conversations with the Minister of Finance’s office this month. After our initial budget submission in February, we met with the MOF’s policy advisor, Eric Gallo-Miscevich, who requested a follow up meeting with FOPL and OLA to further discuss our priorities and budget asks. Mr. Gallo-Miscevich was engaged, interested, and asked a lot of great questions about the Ontario Digital Public Library and First Nations Public Library funding. We are hopeful that we will see some inclusion of our asks in the official budget at the end of April. We were also able to meet with the new Deputy Minister Sarah Harrison to introduce ourselves and further FOPL’s relationship with the MHSTCI. DM Harrison was receptive and open to our conversations regarding public library funding and challenges; we hope to meet again soon.

The Ontario Provincial Election is a critical opportunity for the library sector to capture the attention of political parties and candidates & secure their support to address the critical gaps that continue to confront Ontario’s libraries and the many individuals and families across the province that depend on them. You can help advocate for libraries! There are lots of ways that your library can engage in the upcoming election to make sure that libraries are recognized for their important contributions to municipalities, First Nations and schools:

  1. Meet with Candidates or Campaign Staff (Starting now!) 
  2. Write or email a letter / questionnaire to local Candidates.
  3. Engage through social media.
  4. Ask key questions at town hall meetings and all-candidates debates.

Don’t forget to keep OLA & FOPL up to date on your meetings by filling out the candidate meeting worksheet! We’ve also developed a toolkit to assist in your efforts.