Our BC 2021 Budget Submission
This year was Vantage Point’s second time making a submission for the BC Budget Consultation to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. Of course, this year looked very different than other years, with the COVID-19 pandemic playing a major role in the way we approached our recommendations.
To prepare this submission we gathered input from our members, spoke to BC not-for-profit umbrella organizations, co-led a virtual gathering of 90 not-for-profits leaders that came together to speak to the budget process. We also reflected on many other convening conversations about COVID-19 we’d held since March 2020 and the input from 1119 BC not-for-profit leaders that were documented in our No Immunity Report.
We were heartened to see that the Budget 2021’s Consultation Paper stated that “supporting… not-for-profits throughout the pandemic is vital to BC’s response to and recovery from COVID-19.” We advocated that the not-for-profit sector is in fact essential to ensure the wellbeing of individuals and communities in British Columbia.
In this submission we ask the Provincial Government to:
1. Create a $500 million stabilization fund for the not-for-profit sector
Not-for-profits have been heavily called upon to assist those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis – through access to food, housing, mental health supports, and other necessities. We urged the Provincial government to invest in the not-for-profit sector to ensure not-for-profits will survive this crisis. Both front line organizations directly supporting those affected by pandemic, to arts and culture organizations that are so critical for wellbeing.
2. Use an equity lens to invest in province-wide internet access, connectivity, and infrastructure
Now more than ever, the world is relying on internet and mobile access. We heard from many not-for-profit organizations of the urgency to address this issue in BC. Especially for vulnerable populations and rural communities, some services can only be accessed virtually.
3. Invest in the Ministry of Citizens’ Services to create a home for the sector in government
In our budget submission last year, we recommended that the Government of British Columbia establish a home for the not-for-profit sector in government. We recognize that some not-for-profits operate under the jurisdiction of certain ministries, but there are vast portions of the sector that do not have a central ministry to turn to for direct collaboration with government and support. We argued that now is a critical time that calls for clear lines of communication between the Provincial Government and the not-for-profit sector.
We encourage you to read the full submission and reach out to Omar Dominguez at firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback.