Quebec community groups close doors to protest lack of government funding – Montreal | The Canadian News

Hundreds of community groups in Quebec closed their doors today and took to the streets of the province. Members of these organizations that support immigrants, homeless people, youth and people with disabilities, among others, demonstrate against the lack of financial support they receive from the provincial government.

They say that after playing a major role in providing key services during the pandemic, employees and volunteers are running out of steam and tired of the broken promises made by the Quebec government.

“There were promises to move forward in operating a gradual increase in our funding that will be more suitable for underfunding and that has stopped. We are waiting for an action plan from the government of community groups and that too has stopped, ”said Diana Lombardi, spokesperson for the Community Sector Commitment Campaign.

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Last Wednesday, the government adopted a motion to recognize the contributions of the community sector towards the social and economic transformation of Quebec.

However, protesters say that when there is a lack of financial support, words only go so far. Instead, they would like the government to invest $ 460 million for underfunded community groups.

“They probably only have about half of what they really need to be able to offer adequate working conditions, prevent burnout among groups, also keep their staff and help with programs that could help people to work”, Lombardi said.

Monday’s rally is the first in a series of pressure tactics by community groups that include lockdowns and strikes that Lombardi says will continue until they get adequate financial support.

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In a statement to Global News, Jean Boulet, Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity, says that work on the action plan continues. Boulet adds that as part of the 2021-2022 budget, the government announced $ 174.9 million over five years to support community organizations.

“They always tell us that we are very good at using this, so little money to make so much, but now I can’t do much more,” said Maison des jeunes du Plateau co-manager Simon Gagné.

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Gagné said the Maison des jeunes du Plateau has three open job offers, but is having trouble finding someone who wants the job because salaries in the community sector are low.

“They pay us a few dollars more than the minimum wage. And it’s really not the best, ”he said.

After 15 years in the profession, the youth worker does not know how much more he can give if the government does not take community groups seriously.

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