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December 10, 2020
New video: Nonprofits leading COVID-19 response and recovery efforts
As we wrap up 2020, we want to thank all of the nonprofits across Ontario for collaborating and leading COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. Let’s recognize the incredible nonprofits in our sector by sharing their stories of adapting, innovating, and supporting communities during the pandemic. Watch the video and recognize a nonprofit on social media using #NFPinnovation.

New Report – Recovery through Equality: Developing an Inclusive Action Plan for Women in the Economy
In September’s throne speech the federal government proposed a national action plan for women in the economy and a taskforce. We know that for a gender-equitable economic recovery and women’s economic justice to happen, investments need to be made in women-majority sectors, like the nonprofit sector. That’s why we co-authored a new report with the Canadian Women’s Foundation and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives to highlight what this national action plan for women in the economy should look like. The report outlines two key approaches and recommendations. First, overcome barriers to women’s participation in paid employment and second, create the public infrastructure necessary to spur the creation of decent work and shared prosperity for all. Read the report in French and English.

Paid sick days: Let’s get this to the finish line!
ONN has identified paid sick days as a key indicator of decent work. More recently, there has been a groundswell of public support for paid sick days. There is a now crucial window of time to push this over the finish line. Take action now and advance advocacy efforts by sharing with your network.

Supplier relationship webinar and resources
Did you miss our webinar on pivoting services and innovating during the pandemic? You can watch the recording and access a free nonprofit procurement toolkit by Round Table Procurement Services to learn how supplier and partnership management can help your organization adapt and thrive.

Read our recent submissions to government

Meaningful Conversations: Caring for Women Who Care
Join ONN and Openly for a facilitated dialogue on unpacking care work, the care economy and its impacts on women during the pandemic. Register by January 21.


We are proud to showcase ONN Connectors and their sector leadership, such as:

Alterna is the third-largest credit union in Ontario and one of Canada’s Top 10 Credit Unions. As an organization, they value people over profits, excellence, and integrity.

Provincial Policy Updates

Ontario government deploys new COVID-19 rapid tests
The Ontario government has deployed new COVID-19 rapid tests to provide faster results in regions of high transmission and rural and remote areas. As an additional tool to help keep essential workers safe, rapid tests will also be used to screen staff in long-term care homes and select workplaces. Read the news release.

Ontario Budget watch
The Financial Accountability Office (FAO) of Ontario has released a report on the provincial expenditures for the second quarter, ending September 30, 2020. The report notes that “the $12.0 billion combined remaining balance in the Health Fund, SPJF [Support for People and Jobs Fund] and Contingency Fund cannot be spent directly by the Province but must be transferred to authorized government programs before spending can occur. Given that only six months remain in the government’s fiscal year, the Province may end the fiscal year with outstanding balances in the three funds.”

As we noted in our Fall Budget analysis, $2.05 billion remains unspent in the “Support for People and Jobs Fund” and $598 million unspent, net of new projected spending, in the “COVID-19 Health Contingency Fund”. These amounts are in addition to the $2.5 billion general reserve fund the Ontario government has set aside for the year, which will also go to debt repayment if not spent. Like many in the nonprofit sector, ONN urges the Ontario government to commit these funds to urgent priorities, including stabilization funding for Ontario nonprofits. There has never been a more urgent time to save nonprofit jobs and the community programs needed by Ontarians. Read the report summary.

Update on long-term-care COVID-19 crisis
The Ontario Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission released its second interim report, focused on the quality of resident care. The Commissioners note that “since the release of our interim letter and recommendations on October 23rd, over 100 homes are experiencing an outbreak and more than 300 residents have died.” Seniors for Social Action Ontario continues to advocate for the full spectrum of community-based, nonprofit seniors care and released a paper on Enhanced Home Care. Following ONN’s submission to the Commission, we have been in contact with their secretariat and were pleased to hear they are turning their attention to systemic issues, including those we highlighted on nonprofit vs. for-profit business models. Advantage Ontario, the association for nonprofit long-term care, has been a staunch advocate for The Not-For-Profit Difference in Senior Care. One of Advantage Ontario’s members recently provided testimony to the Commission on the difference between business models (see page 22).

What happened in the Legislature?
The Ontario Legislature rose early for the winter break on December 8 and won’t be back till February. Controversial bills 213 and 229 (complete with Schedule 6 on conservation authorities) were granted Royal Assent before the end of the session. Stay tuned as we’ll release a summary of important legislation from the session early in the new year.

Add your voice

Help improve employment standards for temporary help employees
The Ontario government is proposing a regulatory amendment that would improve employment standards for temporary help employees. Submit your comments by January 29.

Federal Policy Updates

Federal economic statement – Signposts for spring
On November 30, the federal Finance Minister presented the fall economic statement, a three-year stimulus package to jumpstart Canada’s pandemic recovery, totalling between $70-100 billion. While nonprofits and charities did not receive a sector resilience or stabilization grant program, there are targeted pockets of spending applicable to nonprofits- by subsector, employees and the communities they serve. This includes investments and strategies for long-term care, child care, care economy, arts and culture, anti-racism initiatives, and initiatives supporting Indigenous peoples. Read our overview.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) supports businesses, charities, and nonprofits that have suffered a revenue drop by providing support up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses. Qualifying organizations that are under a lockdown or have significantly limited activities due to a public health order will have access to Lockdown Support, a top-up subsidy of 25 per cent. This means they could receive rent or property expenses support of up to 90 per cent. Applicants can claim the subsidy retroactively for the period September 27 to October 24, 2020. Learn more.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) new tools and information to support applicants
CRA has launched new resources including Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) webpages, an online CERS calculator, and CERS infographics (What is CERSHow much do you qualify for, and We’re here to help) to assist organizations in preparing their applications. To complement these resources, the CRA will host a series of interactive question and answer sessions for eligible organizations.

Privacy legislation update
ONN noted back in September that the Ontario government was considering new privacy legislation that could have a significant impact on nonprofits. Since then, the federal government has tabled Bill C-11, which would create: Consumer Privacy Protection Act and a Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act. These would replace the 20-year-old Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The bill would implement the federal government’s Digital Charter, a set of principles designed to guide federal digital and data policy. Privacy law expert David Young notes that the bill misses the opportunity to provide a more robust framework for political parties’ use of private information and even reduces the responsibility of nonprofits with respect to their commercial activities. Read more what the bill will and will not do from University of Ottawa law professor Teresa Scassa.

Canada Pension Plan premiums going up
Nonprofit employers and employees could see Canada Pension Plan (CPP) premiums rise as much as 8.9% as of January 2021. Rates were already increasing gradually because of the CPP enhancement but the maximum insurable earnings took an extra jump for 2021 because of COVID: the maximum earnings threshold is equivalent to average earnings in Canada — and the average took a leap in 2020 when many low-wage jobs were furloughed or lost. The good news is that the increased pension contributions will turn into enhanced retirement income. Read about the premium changes.

Add your voice

Survey on the diversity of charity and nonprofit boards
Statistics Canada is launching its first, targeted attempt to measure diversity on governing boards in the charitable and non-profit sector, including race, gender, sexual orientation, age, immigration status, and disability. Similar surveys around the world indicate that diversity remains an issue across nonprofit boards. The survey is intended for those participating in nonprofit governance. Please help collect this important information by completing the survey or sharing it with your networkThe Philanthropist has a helpful article for more context on this initiative.

Funding opportunities

Call for proposals for Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program
Department of Canadian Heritage is launching a call for proposals for the Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program (CSMARI). The deadline to submit an application for funding under the Projects and the Community Capacity Building components is January 12, 2021. The events program has a rolling deadline and applications must be submitted 18 weeks in advance of the event. Learn more and submit your application here to ensure it is officially received by the program:

TELUS $100 million social impact fund
TELUS launched a new $100 million social impact fund to invest in new sustainable businesses with bold ideas to drive social change. Note: The fund will not support co-operatives or nonprofit social enterprise. Learn more.

New report on philanthropy and Black communities
A new research report by the Foundation for Black Communities provides the first in-depth examination of the relationship between Canadian Philanthropy and Black communities. Read the report.

Scan of income transfer programs during COVID-19
Wellesley Institute conducted a jurisdictional scan of income transfer programs available during the COVID-19 pandemic at the provincial and territorial level. These included programs supporting social assistance recipients, students, families, seniors, and workers who had their employment impacted by the pandemic. Read the jurisdictional scan.

Comparing enterprise structures 
With more for-profits now embarking on social and environmental missions, how does the structure of the organization affect the impact it creates? The Wellbeing Economy has shared a comparison of enterprise designs to consider the impacts.

Blueprint for supporting caregivers
United Way East Ontario launched a caregiver strategy and blueprint to better support caregivers. Read the blueprint.

BC nonprofits gain a home for the sector
The British Columbia Government made a welcome announcement of a new Parliamentary Secretary of Community Development and Non-Profits. Learn about the announcement and how the provincial nonprofit Vantage Point advocated to the BC government on behalf of nonprofits.

New report on the Ontario government’s failure to address climate change
A new report from Environment Defence shows that despite the Ontario government’s claims, the province has failed to take meaningful action on climate change or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read the report.

New research on social foundations’ impact our COVID-19 recovery
Research finds that government policy can improve adherence to restrictions and reduce the negative impacts of the pandemic on disadvantaged groups by placing central importance on the role of communities, social networks and households in the economy and social life. Read the report by the London School of Economics.

Insights from nonprofit convening regarding federal COVID-19 measures
Imagine Canada convened 30+ charitable and nonprofit organizations to discuss how federal COVID-19 measures can be improved. Read the key insights including challenges, potential solutions, and additional supports needed.

Report: Employment and training management models
A new report from the Northern Policy Institute examines how to best prepare Northwestern Ontario for the rollout of the Service System Manager structure of employment services. These pilots could provide valuable insight into application in other parts of the province, including digital delivery, impacts of climate and geographic distance, and diversity of service populations. Read the white paper.

Prepare for the future of nonprofits at CPA Canada’s Virtual Not-for-Profit Forum
Financial sustainability and new forms of disruption are influencing the future of NFPs. Build the skills you need to help your organization keep making a difference while navigating change in 2021 and beyond at CPA Canada’s Virtual Not-for-Profit Forum 2021 on February 9-10.

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