Mar. 30, 2012
A response from Community Foundations of Canada.
The big story of the 2012 Federal Budget is the 7% reduction in spending (more than $5B) out of a pool of approximately $75 B that was under review. This will have a spill over effect on community service delivery, and in turn, community foundations may see a shift in demand. It will also have a significant effect on the public sector labour force with reductions estimated at between 20,000 to 25,000 public sector employees.
The budget document itself isn't so small - at about 500 pages long - and there are few places that fail to receive attention - innovation, universities, small business, energy - which makes the general absence of the community sector or community itself seem stark in comparison.
The Stretch Tax Credit didn't make the cut this time. And on the rare instances where charitable organizations are referenced, along with the Standing Committee on Charitable Tax Incentives, the policy prescriptions are restrictive - regulatory provisions around political activity, foreign funding sources and heightened transparency and accountability measures. This runs against the grain of reducing red tape and streamlining regulations in other areas of national interest.
The only other mention of the sector was related to Ottawa scrapping the penny. The feds are encouraging charities to 'collect the coins from Canadians' and redeem them as a fundraising venture. Community Foundations of Canada, of which London Community Foundation is a member, will be participating in a call organized by Imagine Canada later this week.
In digging deeper, the budget offers some momentary glimpses into possible opportunities - and challenges: