United Way Centraide Canada congratulates the Government of Canada on its decision to create a $400M Community Services Recovery Fund to help local charities and non-profits adapt and modernize so they can better support the economic recovery in communities across the country.

The temporary fund (2021-2022) announced as part of Budget 2021 is a direct result of advocacy efforts undertaken by United Way Centraide Canada and its sector partners.

Budget 2021 includes critical investments in many of United Way Centraide Canada’s focus areas. These include historic investments in pan-Canadian childcare; support to address housing and homelessness, including the Canada Housing Benefit; renewed investments in food security; and important investments in supporting seniors and mental health.

United Way Centraide Canada also congratulates the Government on the important investment being made to establish a new Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund and investment in the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiatives.

United Way Centraide Canada also welcomes the commitments made in Budget 2021 to initiate consultations on reforms to Employment Insurance, as well as disbursement quotas for charitable organizations.  United Way Centraide Canada will continue to support calls to establish a federal department focused on the charitable sector.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s front-line human and community services organizations have come together to prevent the worst public health outcomes, level some effects of long-standing social inequities, strengthen community capacity, and care for our most vulnerable.,” said Dan Clement, President and CEO of United Way Centraide Canada. “The Government of Canada’s investment in the Community Services Recovery Fund is important recognition of the need to invest in the health and resilience of our essential community services at a time of widening inequalities.”

While the budget does not outline a direct investment in 211 information and referral services, we will continue to review the budget to seek funding opportunities for 211. We will also continue our advocacy for government investment in this vital service.

The announcement of the Community Services Recovery Fund reaffirms the importance of Canada’s human and community services infrastructure to Canada’s pandemic recovery. United Way Centraides and our partners have led the call for an equitable pandemic response and will continue to do so to ensure no one is left behind.

United Way Centraide Canada is proud to have partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada, Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada, National Association of Friendship Centres, YMCA Canada, and YWCA Canada in advocating for the creation of this fund.