In an earlier blog post, we highlighted three influential umbrella groups supporting non-profits and charities in BC. One of these, Vantage Point (VP) exists to support those in leadership roles, but recently has also been involved in advocacy and, in May, co-created the No Immunity report emphasizing the challenges of COVID-19 to the sector, including how COVID-19 and the overdoes crisis are threatening the survival of many (23% are at risk). The report recommended the following to the provincial government: Urgent recovery funding and multi-year stabilization supports; Affordable internet access throughout the province (especially rural and remote areas); and, Address inequities and make progress on reconciliation, diversity and inclusion, and accessibility.
On the run up to last October’s provincial election, VP brought these concerns to the candidates, alongside apprehension about the Lobbyist Transparency Act, and the need for a home for the non-profit sector in the provincial government.
So when it was announced that Niki Sharma, MLA was being appointed as the first Parliamentary Secretary of Community Development and Non-Profits, this was a win and appears to demonstrate the NDP’s commitment to cultivating a stronger relationship with our sector. PAN joins VP and others in congratulating her. Vantage Point states that “it is excited to collaborate with Parliamentary Secretary Sharma to engage charities and not-for-profits in key elements of the government’s Stronger BC recovery plan: a nimble workforce, expanded community infrastructure, and wraparound supports like childcare, mental health services, and food security initiatives.”
More good news since the election! We heard from another partner, the Federation of Community Social Services of BC, that the Social Services Sector Roundtable that they sit one is continuing, and is another highly influential avenue for advocacy.
In her mandate, the Parliamentary Secretary of Community Development and Non-Profits is expected to work to ensure charitable organizations and the non-profit sector are engaged and supported through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, and to support the sector by acting as the advocate and key point of contact within government. This is good news to all the umbrella organizations that have been the voice of our sector, as well as for all PAN members that are struggling with funding sustainability in a time when they are being increasingly called upon.
If you have any comments or feedback that you would like passed on to VP then please email [email protected]
Image: Niki Sharma, MLA
Questions? Feedback? Get in touch!
Simon Goff, Executive Assistant and Collective Impact Coordinator, [email protected]