What does the 2019 federal budget mean for the charitable sector and community foundations?

The 2019 federal budget was unveiled earlier this week, with a number of commitments that will impact communities from coast to coast to coast. Here are a few recommended reads and highlights that can help you get up to speed:

Budget 2019 Summaries  

Other key highlights include

Journalism organizations as qualified donees: The 2019 budget provides details about a new category of qualified donee, registered journalism organizations, which will be eligible for charitable tax benefits and contributions from philanthropic organizations, including community foundations. The overviews of the budget by Blumberg’s and Miller Thomson LLP (above) provide excellent analysis of these changes.  

Social Finance Fund: In the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, the Government proposed to make up to $755 million available over 10 years to establish a Social Finance Fund. The 2019 Federal Budget announced important details as to how the fund will work. Read more from Social Innovation Canada, Budget 2019: Social Innovation and Social Finance Excerpts.

Local Infrastructure and Broadband: A number of commitments have been made to support local infrastructure, including a one-time top-up of $2.2 billion to the Gas Tax Fund, and additional funds for the Green Municipal Fund, which help communities invest in green energy. The budget announced a new national broadband strategy with a commitment to ensure that all Canadians have access to high-speed internet by 2030, including in rural, remote and northern communities. More from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Budget 2019: Turning Point for Cities and Communities.

Indigenous Communities: The budget announced $4.5 billion over the next five years to “narrow the socio-economic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people”, which included responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, funds for the revitalizing Indigenous Languages, and $2 billion to address the First Nation Boil Water Advisory crisis. The budget included $395.5M to Inuit-specific investments including specific support to health and social services for Inuit children and an Inuit-led post-secondary education strategy. Read more from the Assembly of First Nations and from Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

Climate Change and Energy Efficiency: New funds will support energy efficiency retrofit projects by municipalities, and the budget featured a number of commitments supporting electrical vehicles. The budget also including a $183M investment in Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3), an initiative that will enable and accelerate urban carbon-reduction solutions.The Ottawa Community Foundation will be a partner on the implementation of LC3 in Ottawa. Read more from Équiterre and the Ottawa Community Foundation.

Gender Equality: This week’s budget announced a $160 million investment over five years in the Women’s Program, managed by the Ministry of Women and Gender Equality. The budget also includes other measures that will support diverse women and girls, including the development of a new Anti-Racism Strategy and Secretariat and increased investment in the LGBTQ2 Secretariat. Read more from the Canadian Women’s Foundation, 2019 Federal Budget Continues Progress Toward a Gender-Equal Canada.

Anything else to add? We’d love to hear from you!

Was there anything else from the budget that stood out as particularly important for Canada’s charities or communities? Any other resources or reactions that we should add here? Write to us:

Laurel Carlton, Director, Strategic Initiatives, lcarlton@communityfoundations.ca

Geneviève Vallerand, Director, Communications, gvallerand@communityfoundations.ca

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