Sunday, March 3, 2024

Helping families is long overdue …

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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Federal Financial Resources Management Association General Director Sylvie Levesque spoke of an administrative maze that included the Family Ministry and the Trezor Council, which keeps at least 280 community-based organizations in suspense.

“We have other things to do other than wait for funding. The groups are there to cater to the families’ needs, and you don’t have to worry all the time about when the money will arrive,” Sylvie Levesque laments.

As the COVID-19 crisis was particularly difficult for families, they were sometimes cut off from their network of support while they had to deal with school closures and daycare services.

The FAFMRQ and its 40 members decry the lack of predictability that could soon put their support services in jeopardy.

Same story with FQOCF, which states that organizations ’financial position is really unstable.

“It is therefore urgent to act to ensure the maintenance of the social safety net around the thousands of families benefiting from the services of 280 OCFs in all regions of Quebec,” notes a statement from its president, Sylvian Poirier.

The union says it is in contact with the Ministry of Family to collect the amounts due as soon as possible.

On the part of the minister’s office, work is being cited to improve this funding, with an investment of $ 85 million over five years. His press official said, “You should know that last November, the Minister of Family announced a complete review of the program that supports community organizations.”

In a letter to The Canadian PressAntoine de la Durantay stresses that “everything must be completed in the coming weeks,” without providing a more precise timeline of expected payments.

Although these delays stemmed from a desire to increase its funding, an advance was supposed to be granted in the meantime, says Sylvie Levesque.

“No matter how many checks we receive, the important thing is to get them,” she argues, noting that institutions are now forced to apply for lines of credit.

Such is the case with the Côte-des-Neiges Parents’ Association, in Montreal.

“After these salaries, that’s it, I will not have any money in the account,” says his manager, Simo Ematif.

You cannot work as a volunteer. There are employees who have families, and there are rents that have to be paid. “

In a phone interview on Sunday, Awatef Simo said he remained unknown about the arrival of the next check, his only recurring source of funding.

We cannot afford the funding delay. We can not. Is it a matter of signing documents? From bureaucracy? We don’t know what’s going on. “

According to Sylvie Levesque, the funds should come in around mid-June, or until the end of the month, with at least two and a half months late.

“We got a reward (…), thank you, that’s fine, but at least make sure of the basic payments!” Emotions they heard with indignation.

The announced improvement should increase annual funding for community organizations that help families to $ 130,000, from the current average of $ 80,000 to $ 90,000, according to figures released by FAFMRQ.

At the time of the announcement last fall, Minister Matteo Lacombe said it was in line with the Laurent Commission’s first recommendations on children’s rights and youth protection.

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However, it has called for annual funding of a minimum of $ 200,000, a recommendation also found in its final report, released this month.

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