The BC Budget 2020 Consultation: A guide for conversations with your local MLA
Each year, the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services conducts a consultation with the public and develops a report of recommendations for the BC budget. The consultation process went from June 3, 2019 to June 28, 2019 and the Budget 2020 Consultation report was published on August 7, 2019.
All submissions for the consultation can be found here – which includes many not-for-profit organizations (Access BC, Canadian Mental Health Association, the BC Alliance for Arts and Culture, David Suzuki Foundation, Board Voice, Pacific Legal Education Outreach Society, and many more). Alison Brewin and Mark Friesen from Vantage Point provided an oral presentation, and our submission can be found here. We advocated for the provincial government to invest in our sector, build the capacity of community-based organizations, and improve government systems of support (such as Gaming and the Registrar’s office).
The BC government will refer to this report when building the 2020 budget. However, the government is not bound by these recommendations. We have an opportunity to highlight the recommendations that benefit BC not-for-profits to provincial decision-makers. By working together, we can ensure recommendations supporting the sector become priorities for the BC Budget 2020.
Many of the report’s findings align with the goals and interests of the not-for-profit sector. Here are some of the key recommendations we found:
- Collaborating with, partnering with, and supporting indigenous communities and working towards reconciliation
- Providing comprehensive supports to youth formerly in care
- Investing in water sustainability, renewable energy, fish and wildlife conservation, species at risk, and invasive species prevention
- Supporting individuals experiencing gender-based violence
- Increasing investments in community care
- Investing in health supports for seniors, individuals with chronic diseases, mental health, and addiction needs
- Providing stable multi-year funding to many initiatives generally, as well as several specific not-for-profit organizations
We would like to highlight recommendation #94 which refers to the Community Gaming Grants:
“94. Review the purpose and methodology of the Community Gaming Grants program to ensure it meets the needs of communities, including moving toward the provision of multi-year grants for community organizations.”
This recommendation is great news for the sector. So many BC not-for-profits rely on funding from Community Gaming. Clarity around the purpose of these grants and community needs would add greater value to this program.
We noticed there are no recommendations to support transitions around the Societies Act. Not-for-profits could really benefit from funds towards training to ensure they are complying with the Societies Act, especially with the amendments coming this fall.
The full list of 106 recommendations are summarized on page 83 to 92 of the report. We encourage you and your colleagues review the summary and identify key recommendations for your organization.
The BC Budget is expected in February 2020. This fall is our opportunity to highlight priorities we have in the not-for-profit sector.
We encourage you to reach out to MLAs in your riding and talk to them about the priorities which impact your organization. If your organization receives Community Gaming grants, consider highlighting recommendation #94 above. The BC 2020 Budget Consultation report is a great reference to guide these conversations – both to address key recommendations & findings in the report and what is missing.
Vantage Point members: let us know if you would like support reaching out to your local MLA and structuring a conversation around support for the not-for-profit sector! Not a member? Learn how to sign up here.