Will the non-profit sector get a home in the federal government in 2021? Senator Ratna Omidvar weighs in.

The pandemic saw “a shift in the understanding at the federal level of how important the sector really is,” Sen. Omidvar says, and a new Minister of Innovation could provide even more momentum

Why It Matters

To get back on its feet through and after the pandemic, and support Canada’s recovery agenda, sector advocates like Senator Ratna Omidvar say the non-profit and charitable sector needs a much closer relationship with the federal government. Could the new Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry make it happen?

It’s no secret that many in Canada’s non-profit and charitable sector feel left behind by the federal government’s pandemic response — from rules that make emergency funds inaccessible to some organizations to others who say there’s just flat-out not enough of it in the first place. And the struggles the sector has faced have been jarring: layoffs and closures have been widespread. 

Things might have gone differently, says Senator Ratna Omidvar, if the federal government had heeded recommendation 14 in a 2019 report from the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector, of which Sen. Omidvar is the deputy chair: “That the Government of Canada, through the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, create a secretariat on the charitable and non-profit sector.”

Meanwhile, a cabinet shuffle early last week saw Minister of Innovation, Scie

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