For the 2017 Ontario Budget: Four bold recommendations

FROM ONN: Ontario Nonprofit Network

Provincial Budget 2017

“1. Grow the social economy through a nonprofit sector labour market strategy

·       Develop a robust labour market strategy for the nonprofit sector, starting with better labour market information and an annual social economy jobs report.

2. Support decent work for people in the nonprofit sector

·       Provide funding agreements that enable nonprofits to offer decent work.

·       Fund pension premiums in transfer payment agreements and sector-wide pensions literacy training for nonprofit workers and board members.

·       Reduce the administrative burden for nonprofits by scaling up successful pilots for transfer payment modernization across government.

·       Reflect the real and current cost of delivering programs in transfer payment agreements, and index agreements to the cost of living, starting with a 2.5% increase in 2017.

3. Build community capacity by delivering on the promise of community hubs

·       Offer matching seed funding for business case development to nonprofits working to create a new community hub.

·       Offer a capital funding stream for community hub development and ease access to loans.

·       Offer integrated operating agreements for multi-service nonprofits.

4. Reverse the 21.7% reduction in base funding for the Ontario Trillium Foundation

·       Reinstate the $25 million that was reallocated in 2016 from the OTF budget for Ontario150 programs to return the Foundation’s base funding to $115 million.

Our opportunity

The Province of Ontario is at a critical juncture. We run the risk of witnessing rising inequality turning into widespread disengagement among marginalized segments of society. With economic disruption only accelerating, we must work to ensure that disengagement does not turn into alienation from our public institutions in Ontario.

We know the Ontario government seeks to differentiate itself by addressing these pressing challenges through support to community initiatives that are creatively and proactively working to put us on a better path. On the verge of eliminating the budget deficit, the Ontario government now has the opportunity to focus on our social deficit.

Together we can create sustainable prosperity for many more people than the mainstream economy can by growing the sector that exists for social purpose, rather than profit. The nonprofit economy, however, needs a regulatory environment that supports it so that nonprofits, including social enterprises and cooperatives, can provide more jobs, more sustainable prosperity, and an antidote to inequality and disaffection.

The time is right for genuine re-investment in the economic sector that holds our communities together in the context of economic, technological, and environmental disruption. The nonprofit sector stands as a $50 billion sector that seeks to co-create with the Ontario government the fiscal, policy, and operating frameworks that will enable our sector’s massive potential.”