Edition: Fall 2021
Message from Parliamentary Secretary Niki Sharma
Welcome to the Fall 2021 edition of my e-newsletter, and a big thank you to the new subscribers. I appreciate every one of you for taking time out of your busy day to connect here.
It was just over a year ago that I was sworn in as Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits. A lot has happened in the past year – to find out what my year looked like, I’ve just shared a year in review fact sheet, and my updated mandate letter.
I would like to thank you all, yet again, for your continued dedication and commitment in charting an ever-changing path to recovery. It is only by working together that we will overcome the challenges we are facing.
I appreciate the support and trust you have shown me over the past year as your advocate, and I look forward to continuing to work with you all as we serve the people of British Columbia.
Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits
Keep in touch!
Please consider inviting me to your AGM! Here’s a video message for anyone holding an AGM, celebrating a milestone or planning a conference or workshop. Please share in your networks
Societies Amendment Act
The Societies Amendment Act received Royal Assent on Oct. 28, 2021. The Act provides the more than 30,000 British Columbia societies with a responsive legislative framework and gives them greater adaptability in their internal governance and ensures transparency and accountability.
These amendments refine the Societies Act by making it more accessible, addressing uncertainties and omissions, and creating consistency within the Act and with other legislation. Changes address protection of member information, member meetings, employee renumeration and other issues that may impact non-profit organizations.
Get further information on specific changes here.
Provincial and federal resources available to non-profits
There are a number of provincial and federal resources available to non-profits. Below is a list of some that may be of interest:
The Innovator Skills Initiative provides up to $10,000 to help employers – including non-profits – hire under-represented people in B.C.’s tech sector and supports companies facing skills shortages to grow and expand.
Disaster Financial Assistance may be available to those impacted by floods and landslides, including non-profit and charitable organizations.
Provincial funding supports available to businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19
As part of the StrongerBC recovery plan, the Government of British Columbia implemented a number of programs to help businesses and non-profits deal with the financial impacts of COVID-19:
- ONGOING! B.C. Increased Employment Incentive: Offers a one-time refundable tax credit for eligible B.C. employers who increased remuneration by creating new jobs or increasing pay for existing low- or medium-income employees from October to December 2020. The deadline to apply is Dec. 31, 2021.
- ONGOING! Alacrity Canada Digital Marketing Bootcamp: Offers a tuition-free, virtual skills-training program to help small and medium sized B.C. businesses and eligible charitable organizations prepare for the digital marketplace. Applications are currently open.
Federal funding supports available to businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19
The Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan provides a set of financial supports designed to help businesses and non-profits navigate the COVID-19 pandemic:
- EXTENDED! Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP): For eligible employers, including charities, and non-profits, that continue to experience qualifying declines in revenues relative to before the pandemic. Eligible employers would claim the higher of the existing Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or this new program. Extended until May 7, 2022.
- EXTENDED! Employment Insurance (EI) Work Sharing Program: Provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers. Non-profit employers experiencing a shortage of work due to COVID-19 are eligible to access the program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all Work-Sharing agreements fall under the COVID-19 temporary special measures. The Government of Canada has extended these measures to Sep. 24, 2022.
Government continues to take action to invest in and support non-profit organizations throughout British Columbia. Below are some recent news releases that may be of interest.
Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction news
Nov. 9 – The Province is providing more than $180,000 to Our Place Society in Victoria to deliver essential employability and occupational skills training over four intakes of its People in Progress project. Read more
Oct. 5 – Increasing supports and services in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic helped some of B.C.’s most vulnerable people, as outlined in the 2020 annual report on poverty reduction. Read more
Nov. 27 – Arts and culture groups throughout B.C. can now apply for the Arts Impact Grant, for which the Province provided $3.5 million through the BC Arts Council. Read more
Nov. 25 – Community organizations can now submit applications for the 2021-22 multiculturalism grants program as the Province extends support for projects tackling racism and discrimination. Read more
Nov. 24 – A new northern community shuttle funding program will sustain and enhance access to services and amenities, friends and family, and other transportation services in B.C.’s North. Read more
Nov. 22 – Indigenous communities, local governments and eligible organizations can apply for funding under the 150 Time Immemorial program for projects that promote and educate British Columbians about diversity, inclusion, reconciliation and resiliency. Read more
Nov. 16 – Indigenous tourism businesses will receive another financial boost to aid in pandemic recovery and foster growth through the continued partnership of the Province and Indigenous Tourism BC. Read more
Nov. 12 – Arts and culture groups throughout B.C. can look forward to new and enhanced spaces with $4 million to support the Arts Infrastructure Program. Read more
Sept. 27 – More than 3,000 people from under-represented groups throughout the province will have more opportunities to join B.C.’s booming tech sector with the expansion of the Innovator Skills Initiative program. Read more
Aug. 6 – The Province is helping small and medium-sized businesses adapt to the post-pandemic economy by giving more people the training they need to succeed. Read more
Oct. 5 – Indigenous peoples throughout B.C. will now have access to legal services and supports online through a new Virtual Indigenous Justice Centre, which will make it easier to navigate the justice system. Read more
Sept. 27 – Indigenous service providers are receiving $1.5 million in provincial funding to address the urgent need for culturally safe and trauma-informed mental health and wellness supports for residential school survivors and Indigenous peoples as a result of the ongoing findings at former Indian Residential Schools. Read more
Nov. 7 – The Province is teaming up with the Canadian Red Cross to provide eligible residents, who were affected by the 2021 wildfires, with financial assistance to support their interim housing needs during their recovery. Read more
Social Supports news
Nov. 25 – Focused engagement will take place early in the new year in order to deliver a multi-year action plan to address gender-based violence by the end of 2022. Read more
Nov. 12 – People and families living in Colwood, Langford, Highlands and Metchosin will soon have more access to everyday primary health-care services and social supports with the opening of the new Westshore Community Health Centre in spring 2022. Read more
Nov. 10 – People living with cancer and their caregivers throughout B.C. now have access to accommodation and support services at the Canadian Cancer Society’s new Centre for Cancer Prevention and Support. Read more
Nov. 5 – Adrian Dix, Minister of Health and minister responsible for Francophone Affairs, has announced $250,000 in funding to support five local non-profit organizations that serve the francophone and francophile communities in British Columbia. Read more
Nov. 5 – Six community leaders have received awards for their ongoing efforts in supporting victims of crime, including initiatives focused on gender-based violence and restorative justice. Read more
Oct. 10 – With funding support from the Government of B.C., Watari Counselling and Support Services Society provides free confidential substance-use counselling to individuals, families and couples in the Strathcona and Downtown Eastside area of Vancouver and surrounding communities. Read more
Sept. 21 – People living with dementia will have stronger connections to loved ones and caregivers as government is providing $5.4 million over two years to help fund First Link dementia support. Read more
Sept. 14 – Nine new projects funded through the Northern Healthy Communities Fund will boost health, mental health and social services for people living in northern B.C. communities that are experiencing rapid economic growth. Read more
Sept. 8 – The Pacific Immigrant Resources Society is the recipient of B.C.’s 2021 Council of the Federation Literacy Award for its leadership and focus on creating inclusive literacy programs for refugee and immigrant women and children. Read more
Aug. 6 – More seniors in B.C. experiencing abuse and neglect are getting access to resources and support they need from local Community Response Networks. Read more
July 29 – To ensure people living with brain injuries in and around Nanaimo have access to the services they need, the Province is providing $65,000 to the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society to enhance and expand programs, education and support. Read more
July 28 – British Columbians living with brain injuries will have increased access to vital services as the Government of B.C. provides $2 million to the Brain Injury Alliance to support community brain-injury associations throughout the province. Read more
July 28 – British Columbians can now access the updated BC Seniors’ Guide, a comprehensive tool that provides crucial information on health, housing, finances, community supports and more to help seniors continue living well. Read more
Families, Children and Youth news
Sept. 23 – Eligible youth and young adults who have transitioned from government care will continue to benefit from more flexible access to the Agreements with Young Adults program, as government extends COVID-19 emergency measures to March 2022. Read more
Sept. 18 – Thousands of children and youth will have the opportunity to be physically active through sport, thanks to the B.C. government’s historic investment in Sport BC. Read more
July 27 – 72 amateur sport leagues and teams will receive support from the Province so B.C. athletes can continue to train, practise and play. Read more
Environment newsNov. 15 – First Nations peoples throughout British Columbia can join a conversation on new opportunities in the growing and diverse clean-energy sector to help ensure First Nations are involved and benefiting from B.C.’s low-carbon economy. Read more