Canada’s largest charities ask Ottawa for $500 to $700 million COVID-19 relief fund

The YWCA, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada, the National Association of Friendship Centres and other major community service organizations spoke with Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen last weekend.

Why It Matters

Sector leaders don’t expect corporate donations or philanthropies can cover the financial burden faced by community services organizations across Canada. Meanwhile, the federal government is due to table a new budget this spring, one that is expected to include relief packages for industries hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leaders from some of Canada’s largest charitable organizations are asking the federal government for a $500 to $700 million relief fund for the community service sector as it faces higher demand for services during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with a loss in overall revenue. 

Owen Charters, the president and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, took part in a roundtable with five other community service organization leaders and Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen on Jan. 23. They include the YMCA, YWCA, United Way Centraide Canada, the National Association of Friendship Centres, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. Charters says many of these organizations have seen revenue drops of between 20 and 50 percent since the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

They’re not alone. Organizations across the country are pointing to a loss in revenue from donations, but also c

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