Lobbyists Act – Call to Action

In December 2016, the Office of the Ethics Commissioner, who oversees the Lobbyists Registry, recommended significant changes to the Lobbyists Act. The recommendations call for removal of the exemption for public-benefit nonprofits. The removal of the current exemption would layer an additional administrative burden on Alberta’s public benefit nonprofits, including charities.

Carbon Levy Update

Alberta’s new Climate Leadership Implementation Act passes into law measures that were announced through the 2016-17 provincial budget, including Alberta’s new carbon levy. As it is presently structured, the Carbon Levy program places a disproportionate burden on Alberta’s nonprofits and charities that have little means at their disposal to recoup these costs. Read more about what CCVO, and our colleague organizations, are doing on this issue.

Human Services Procurement Q & A

Over the past few months we have encountered some perceptions, and concerns, from service providers around procurement initiatives underway and planned in Human Services. These concerns have arisen for a variety of reasons, and are also linked to the very natural uncertainly that comes from working with a new government. In an effort to ensure people’s concerns are based on facts, rather than misunderstanding or speculation, CCVO reached out to the Ministry of Human Services with some direct questions around the goals, impetus and process of the procurement initiative.

Alberta Minimum Wage Increase – What We’ve Heard

On May 29th the Government of Alberta announced that they are moving ahead with the plan to raise the minimum wage in Alberta to $15/hour by 2018. With a phase-in to start October 1st, 2015 the Government has been undertaking consultations throughout the month of June and the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations was invited to attend. The consultations focused on how to phase in the increases, phase out the differential in minimum wage for food and beverage workers who serve alcohol and other issues the Government needs to consider. Prior to attending, CCVO consulted with nonprofit stakeholders and reached out to our members with a short survey to capture information on how the proposed increase would affect their organizations. CCVO used the feedback to inform our input during the consultation. Thank you to those who responded to our survey.  What follows is a summary of what we’ve heard. Current Wages Given the breadth and diversity of the nonprofit sector, the impact of increasing minimum wage will vary significantly. Many of the larger, professionalized  nonprofits do not have positions that pay less than $15 per hour. But there are many others that have positions that earn less than $15 per hour, such as day camp counsellors, night relief staff, or custodial workers. Potential Impact The primary concerns raised by those who responded to our survey are as follows: Financing Wage Increases While some organizations are able to adjust prices to account for increased payroll costs, many cannot. Therefore, some anticipate they will have to reduce staff hours and/or positions. The Ripple Effect Organizations have expressed concerns about how the...

NDP Platform Highlights

The following is a compilation of statements taken from the Alberta NDP 2015 Election Platform that are particularly relevant to Alberta’s non-profit and charitable sector. Statements are taken verbatim. CCVO has reordered some of the statements and in some cases, added different headings. We have also removed reference to the Progressive Conservative Party and former Premier Prentice in these statements. Children & Families | Communities & Municipalities | Economic Diversification | Education | Employment | Environment & Climate | Fiscal Framework | First Nations & Indigenous People | Gender Equality | Health | Social Services | Budget Summary Children and Families We will invest in child care, creating new spaces and improving affordability, quality and access. We will move toward $25-a-day care in quality child care centres as Alberta’s finances permit. We will immediately implement enhancements to the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit and the Alberta Working Family Supplement so low income families do not have to wait more than a year to benefit. We will also adjust the Supplement to ensure all low income families can access it. We will review employment standards to support family-friendly work standards, including improving compassionate care leaves and providing time off for family responsibilities. Communities and Municipalities We’ll provide stable, predictable funding to both large and smaller municipalities and ensure they have resources they need to fulfill infrastructure priorities, such as transit. We will maintain the Municipal Sustainability Initiative. We’ll ensure rural communities have access to needed health care, education and infrastructure services. As part of this commitment, we will sit down with local government stakeholders to review the question of linear assessment....

Alberta’s Fiscal Future: An important message from CCVO

On December 15, the Alberta Government issued a press release outlining steps that will be taken to control spending through the remainder of this fiscal year through cost containment measures.

The release states that lowered resource revenues and expanding populations pose “unique challenges” for Alberta.

There is nothing unique about the current provincial economic circumstances.

An open letter to Premier Prentice

Dear Premier Prentice:

On behalf of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO), I am writing you regarding the provincial fiscal situation and messaging from the Province about cost containment measures in the current fiscal year and in budget 2015-16.

We are very concerned about the potential for monetary decisions to compromise the nonprofit sector’s ability to sustain services it provides to communities. CCVO urges the Province to consider the impact of its budgetary decision-making on Alberta’s nonprofit sector. Additionally, we cannot stress strongly enough how important it is that Government facilitate a meaningful conversation with Albertans about the best way to stabilize provincial finances.

Shuffling the Deck

In the wake of a cabinet shuffle, there tend to be more questions than answers, and the one Premier Redford announced Friday is no different – particularly as it relates to Alberta’s social services sector, where employment and skills training has been removed from the Human Services Portfolio.

A Promising Example of Successful Government & Sector Dialogue: The Workforce Alliance Experience

For many years nonprofit sector leaders have maintained that more meaningful and timely consultation between the government and the sector would improve public policy and help identify potential unforeseen consequences of policy or budget decisions before they have an effect on the sector and the clients they serve. It has generally been a hard sell to get governments to put this into practice, but the experience of Alberta’s Human Services Workforce Alliance may signal a change in attitude.

Serving Up Change

By Geoff Braun, Director of Policy and Research, CCVO

The Menu

A number of unique items appeared on the menu during Premier Redford’s leadership bid and in the 2012 general election. There was stable and predictable funding for the nonprofit sector, wage parity with comparable positions in the public service, and meaningful involvement in the public policy process.

2012 Provincial Election Resources

CCVO believes that civil society and democratic engagement are fundamental to the wellbeing of our communities. The following information, resources and links are intended to support nonprofits with their provincial election engagement strategies.

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