Wave of “actions and strikes” for thousands of community organizations
Underfunding drives thousands of community organizations to strike across the province starting Monday. The objective is to lobby the government for the next provincial budget. For their mission of “guardian angel” to be carried out properly, they ask for 460 million dollars a year.
Throughout Quebec, more than 1,200 community groups will launch “waves of action and rotating strikes” from February 21 to February 24 at the call of the Coalition of Regional Tables of Community Organizations (CTROC). In Montreal, community organizations will participate in a “Manif-action” downtown at 2 p.m. at Place Émilie-Gamelin on Tuesday. About 300 community groups and national groups in the city are expected to take part.
The 4,000 autonomous community action organizations (ACA) that are involved in the campaign Get involved in the communityneed an additional $460 million per year. Considered as “a real collective wealth”, the ACAs need this funding to carry out their mission adequately.
We have zero sign of the government. We are told that we are essential and that we are guardian angels. But we're $16 guardian angels. […] We are asking to repair the social safety net and social justice.
Vincent Lagacé, TCROC communications officer
In addition to direct funding, the organizations are asking for respect for their autonomy and a stronger government commitment to a policy of social justice. Indeed, the budgetary austerity measures have greatly weakened the population and accentuated social inequalities according to the national mobilization campaign Commit to the community.
“Due to the pandemic and the labor shortage, the underfunding that affects them has increased, which dramatically reduces their ability to meet the urgent needs of the population. It is time for the government to take the situation seriously and increase funding for the mission of all the groups,” CTROC co-spokesperson Claudelle Cyr said in a press release.
There will be no break in essential services assures the CTROC
Organizations that wish to do so are invited to join the actions taking place in their respective regions and according to their capacity. On the other hand, the communication officer at CTROC, Vincent Lagacé, assures that essential services will be provided.
“The number one priority is not to leave vulnerable people behind. There will always be someone to meet the needs of people everywhere in Quebec. We are essential groups, we do not let people in need down.” Mr. Lagacé speaks in particular of food aid, support for homelessness, mental health or for crisis situations.
Other “less essential” services may be reduced or canceled, such as activities social, training or support meetings.
At the beginning of February, the Intersectorial Regrouping of Community Organizations of Montreal (RIOCM) had made requests in this regard. An increase in the funds granted to community health and social services groups in Montreal of $100 million per year has been requested.