Dear Minister Lecce, Minister Phillips, Minister Morneau and Mayor Tory,
On behalf of the Toronto District School Board, I am writing you to advocate for financial support for not-for-profit organizations during this difficult time.
Each year, with the help of the Community Use of Schools subsidy and the Local Neighbourhood Support Program, not-for-profit organizations run many low cost and free community programs in our facilities, such as after-school programs and summer camps. These programs provide some our most vulnerable communities and in-need families with safe spaces to participate in physical activities and learn new skills. They also provide important school-community connections for youth, seniors and families.
However, due to the current health situation, our schools and facilities are closed and it is too soon to tell what precautionary measures we will have to take when re-opening these buildings, i.e. social distancing and sanitary measures. Because of this, not-for-profit organizations are not able to maintain their business of running community programs.
On top of this, not-for-profit organizations do not qualify for any provincial or federal COVID-19 related loans, grants or supports that incorporated businesses and registered charities benefit from.
At the end of the day, not-for-profit organizations are suffering and so are the many youth, seniors and families that benefit from their work. Overall, this is negatively impacting our communities.
Our ask is that your governments – provincial, federal and municipal – provide financial support for not-for-profit organizations that would usually be running community programs in our schools. Our hope is that this support will help them maintain their business during this difficult time and reduce the risk of increased program costs that may be needed to accommodate physical distancing once schools reopen.
As always, I would be more than happy to continue this conversation at your earliest convenience.
Robin Pilkey, CPA, CA, ICD.D
Chair, Toronto District School Board