Canada’s Charities Make Urgent Ask of Ottawa for $10 billion Stabilization Fund –Their Very survival at Risk

TORONTO, March 26, 2020 – Yesterday, leaders of over 150 Canadian charities sent a letter to the Government of Canada asking for urgent financial support to prevent the irreparable collapse of the charity sector and their vital programs due to the COVID-19 crisis. Canada’s charities are a critical part of the Canadian economy, contributing more than eight percent to Canada’s GDP ($162 billion in 2017) and employing more than ten percent (1.4 million) of working Canadians.

Group of children washing their hands

“Without immediate support from the federal government, most Canadian charities will no longer be able to support vulnerable people and communities globally and locally,” says Tanjina Mirza, co-CEO and Chief Programs Officer at Plan International Canada. “Plan International Canada supports the Emergency Coalition of Canadian Charities’ call to action to help the helpers. Now more than ever is the time to come together, to stay true to our Canadian values and proud tradition of helping people who need it most. Canada’s charitable sector has an important role to play addressing the impact of COVID-19 both in Canada and around the world.”

The letter sent to the Government of Canada includes the following recommendations

  1. The immediate establishment of an emergency $10 billion stabilization fund that will allow charities to survive, retain staff, cover critical expenses, and continue essential, frontline operations during the pandemic;
  2. Loan guarantees to Canada’s banks to ensure that charitable organizations have easy access to urgent, substantial short-term low- or no-interest loans to support their operations;
  3. Increase the Charitable Donation Tax Credit through to the end of 2021 from 50% to 75% (in line with the rate that is provided for political donations) to encourage Canadians to donate;
  4. Continue to flow already-contracted funds to charities and allow for maximum flexibility and re-budgeting as charities struggle to deliver and/or redesign their programs in the wake of COVID-19; and
  5. Ensure that charities have access to the same recovery programs that businesses do at every step.

These measures will help ensure Canada’s charitable sector survives and can continue providing vital support to vulnerable Canadians and families hit hard by COVID-19.

List of signatories

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