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Submitted by Bill Morris on
As part of our input into the federal government's proposed poverty reduction strategy, United Way Centraide Canada commissioned four policy papers, which were included with our response. One of these, authored by Armine Yalnizyan, proposes that a poverty reduction lens be applied to the federal government's 10 year infrastructure program, and that Community Benefit Agreements be supported as the key vehicle for leveraging poverty reduction related community benefits . We believe this is consistent with the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities mandate letter, and the government’s overarching priority to ‘grow the middleclass by assist those working hard to join it’. Our paper on CBAs proposes specific measures to facilitate the growth and development of CBAs as a regular part of the infrastructure planning and procurement process. Tt calls for the establishment of a centre of excellence that would assist all parties – proponents, municipalities, and community groups to develop, implement and enforce CBAs. And, creation of a stream of financial support to help facilitate this at the community level. CBA’s won’t simply happen without a system of requirements and supports. The government has supported the advancement of CBAs, and Liberal MP Ramesh Sangha currently has a private members bill before the house (the bill was originally introduced by Minister Hussen before he was appointed to cabinet). It would empower the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities (Minister Sohi) to require infrastructure proponents to assess the opportunity for additional community benefits and report those as part of the bidding and contract awarding process. The bill has been supported by the government thus far and is scheduled for debate and third reading next week and the follow. If it passes, it will give a significant boost to CBAs. A timely message to your MP would help show support for CBAs and ensure passage of MP Sangha’s bill.

Our National Partners

  • great west life
  • Lawson Foundation
  • Muttart Foundation
  • RBC Foundation
  • Suncor
  • TD Bank
  • investors group

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Charitable Registration Number: 119218790 RR0001