YMCA Canada applauds the Government of Canada for their continued support in the fight against COVID-19, as well as their commitment to the recovery of families, communities, and the economy.
"YMCAs across Canada have felt and seen the tremendous impact of COVID-19 on communities and those who serve them. The commitments outlined in the Fall Economic Statement to support Canada’s COVID-19 response and recovery are positive steps in the right direction. We look forward to learning more about the commitments and working with the Federal Government to move them ahead,” said Dinsdale.
Yesterday’s Fall Economic Statement introduces meaningful investments and early commitments to support Canadians, particularly the most vulnerable, in managing the second wave and building back better:
- Steps to Support pan-Canadian Early Learning and Child Care – As the largest non-profit provider of child care in Canada, the YMCA understands the importance of safe, high-quality care in nurturing and supporting the development of children. The commitments outlined in the FES are a positive first step toward building a national child care system. We support the government’s staged approach to pan-Canadian child care, which will lead to positive outcomes for children, mothers, and those working in child care. We look forward to learning more about these commitments and to working with the Federal government, and all levels of government, to create a high-quality Canada-wide child care system that is affordable, inclusive, and accessible to all.
- Youth Employment Opportunities in 2021 – As a major employer of young people, especially through the Canada Summer Jobs program, YMCA Canada is delighted to see significant investments in creating meaningful job opportunities for young people in 2021. Compared to previous recessions, job losses, reductions in working hours, and wage losses have impacted young people exceptionally hard, especially those experiencing multiple barriers. New investments and flexibility reflected in the Canada Summer Jobs program and Youth Employment and Skills Strategy will help the YMCA and other employers create job opportunities for young people in the community, that help them get back on their feet.
- Increases to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – YMCAs employ more than 28,750 Canadians across a variety of areas of our operations, including first time, part time, seasonal, and full time jobs. The CEWS has been a tremendous support to YMCAs in managing the significant financial losses caused by COVID-19 and maintaining connections with employees. We thank the government for increasing the wage subsidy during the challenging winter months and the second wave.
- Additional Support for Families and Vulnerable Populations – The YMCA has been serving vulnerable populations in Canada for more than 170 years, and this has remained true throughout the pandemic. Investments in support for people living in homelessness, the increases to the Canada Child Benefit for families who need it, and the investments to support anti-racism and multiculturalism in communities outlined in the FES will provide vital resources for families, vulnerable populations, and communities. These investments will enable charities like the YMCA to continue to support the needs of today and tomorrow.
While these are welcomed and critical commitments, the fiscal update lacked an announcement of urgent aid to support the hard hit charitable and non-profit sector. YMCA Canada has been advocating since the start of the pandemic for additional targeted support to address challenges caused by COVID-19, prevent service loss in communities, and bridge vital community service organizations to the other side of the pandemic.
“Additional financial support for community service charities, such as the YMCA, is critical in managing the second wave and playing a meaningful role in community and economic recovery. We will continue to discuss this immediate need with the Government of Canada and look forward to working with them on a solution,” said Peter Dinsdale, President and CEO, YMCA Canada.