Budget 2018: Signs of thinking differently, but still committed to status-quo

The Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO) was pleased to see Budget 2018 highlight the value of Alberta’s nonprofit sector. The provincial budget, released on March 22, includes the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s key strategies that place a priority on assisting nonprofits in building their human and financial capacity. Additionally, the need for and value of collaboration with partners outside of Government were highlighted in the 2018-19 provincial budget. “This as an important signal and step towards supporting healthy communities, as many organizations within the nonprofit sector are well-positioned to work with Government on shared goals,” says David Mitchell, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations. “CCVO is encouraged to see collaboration and partnership highlighted as a priority.” This budget also broadly considers the impact of spending to better support gender equality and Indigenous peoples. Taking this whole-of-government approach is a progressive step, and one of the first for a Canadian government. In CCVO’s pre-budget submission, which was informed by nonprofit sector input, we asked the Government to think and spend differently; Budget 2018 focus in these areas demonstrates the beginning of integrative thinking about public spending. There continues, however, to be more opportunity for future budgets to move beyond the status quo and think differently about public finances to more sustainably serve Alberta’s communities. Potential support for organizations affected by changes to labour legislation Over the past several months, CCVO listened to concerns from nonprofits about the impact of the updated Employment Standards Code on their operations, including increased costs of overtime, general holiday pay,  and the capacity required to update human resources policies...

Share Your Thoughts on Alberta’s 2018 Budget

Alberta’s nonprofit sector makes our province a better place for all. As demand for services in some subsectors has continued to grow, shrinking individual and corporate donations have put pressure on some organizations’ ability to fulfill their missions. Many facilities are in need of repair and upgrade, and many organizations face workforce challenges.

Submission to City Charters Regulation Survey

The proposed City Charter Regulation has been developed by the Government of Alberta, the City of Edmonton, and the City of Calgary to “provide additional authorities and flexibility to the cities with the aim of building strong, vibrant cities that attract trade and investment.” The enabling proposals on which CCVO provided feedback are provided below, along with CCVO’s submitted remarks.

Managing Change: Solutions to Strengthen Your Organization

CCVO has developed a opportunity for nonprofit organizations to participate in a management consulting project through a partnership with the MBA program of the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary. This project will allow organizations to draw upon the expertise of an advanced class of MBA students who wish to gain knowledge and experience in consulting and change management.

CCVO announces new President and CEO

Randy Paquette, Chair of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations’ Board of Directors, is pleased to announce the appointment of David J. Mitchell as the new President and CEO of CCVO.

Budget 2017 Holds the Line on Spending

Budget 2017-18 holds the line on spending as Alberta enters the third year of economic downturn. The budget maintains spending on front-line public services, which is consistent with what the government had signaled leading up to yesterday’s release.

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.

Executive Directions Finds A New Home At CCVO

For over a decade the Executive Directions program has been recognized as an important source of leadership development within Calgary’s nonprofit sector. More than one hundred graduates are improving our community in meaningful ways as they apply their leadership skills in organizations across the sector.

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.

2015 Fall Economic Climate Survey Results

Alberta’s economy continues to feel the effects of low oil prices more than one year after prices began to fall. As some of those early impacts were captured in the spring 2015 Alberta Nonprofit Survey, we wanted to hear from charities and nonprofits again to gauge how the sector is faring in what economists predict will be a recession for 2015.

2015-16 Provincial Budget Analysis

The provincial budget released on October 27 is not transformational; rather, it is transitional. It maintains service levels in a lagging economy, and includes a number of targeted investments and initiatives that are consistent with campaign promises. It signals shifting priorities and suggests a larger transformation may be reflected in the spring budget.

Provincial Budget: Stability For the Nonprofit Sector In a Time of Uncertainty

Today’s provincial budget reflects priorities outlined in the NDP election platform and demonstrates the government’s commitment to preserving public programs and services. Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO) President and CEO Katherine van Kooy notes that “the priorities laid out in this budget reflect an understanding of the importance of maintaining community services during times of economic hardship and strengthening programs for Alberta’s most vulnerable.”

Call for Participants: Managing Change

CCVO has developed a opportunity for nonprofit organizations to participate in a management consulting project through a partnership with the MBA program of the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary. This project will allow organizations to draw upon the expertise of an advanced class of MBA students who wish to gain knowledge and experience in consulting and change management. DEADLINE: August 31, 2015

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 Budget 2015 – A measured approach to a ‘radical’ budget

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 26, 2015 Alberta Budget 2015 – A measured approach to a ‘radical’ budget   CALGARY, Alberta —The Government of Alberta tabled its much anticipated 2015/16 budget today. In advance of the budget, the provincial government had warned that “tough, disciplined fiscal decisions” would need to be made to address the anticipated $7 billion revenue shortfall, framed as both a “revenue and a spending challenge.” This was to be a radical budget for which the Government would need to seek a new mandate. The 2015 budget addresses this in a measured approach, by holding spending, increasing revenues by $1.5 billion, and using substantial contributions from its contingency fund to buffer the impact of next year’s budget. The budget’s proposed changes to personal income tax, and the nature of the new health care contribution levy indicates a move towards a more progressive tax regime, with a sensitivity to protecting lower-income Albertans. In addition, Albertans will see increases in user fees, fuel tax and ‘sin’ taxes. The Government promised that the cuts would not be made on the backs of vulnerable Albertans. The Ministry of Human Services’ budget did not see any wholesale program eliminations, however the budget’s $69 million (or 1.8%) increase is in effect a net reduction due to population growth and inflation. To some extent the budget reflects reduced caseloads (for example in child intervention). However, due to the current economic situation, there may also be increased demand in other areas such as income and employment supports. Minister Campbell signaled the continuation of a heightened focus on systems change for Human Services when he stated...

Introducing “Further” : A special edition magazine about Calgary’s nonprofit sector

CCVO and RedPoint Media are proud to present Further Magazine, a special magazine dedicated to telling the story of Calgary’s nonprofit sector. This 16-page special issue will be distributed widely in April alongside Avenue Magazine, but we have kept a large stock of copies to provide to CCVO members to share within your circles.  If your organization would like copies of Further to share with board members, conference delegates, or any other stakeholders, please contact CCVO. This is the largest publication CCVO has ever put together, both in scope of content and size of distribution. We are excited to profile the amazing stories of Calgary’s nonprofits with Calgarians who may not be aware of the breadth and impact of the sector. These stories are your stories. We hope you will share in our enthusiasm and spread the...

2015 Alberta Nonprofit Survey

The Alberta Nonprofit Survey is the only source of province-wide “state of the sector” research that documents the ongoing experience, evolution, and health of the nonprofit sector.   Please add your voice.   Your responses contribute to a collective voice of the nonprofit and charitable sector. This survey requires a critical mass of data and information to best provide background and context for stakeholders. The completed report is frequently used to help inform the decision-making of nonprofit leaders and boards, the Government of Alberta, foundations, and community stakeholders. This year along with our questions about your organization’s financial, operational, and programmatic circumstances we will also be exploring workforce issues and capacity building needs within the sector. How it works: The confidential survey will take approximately twenty minutes to complete. You may leave the survey and return to it at any time, providing you have not cleared your browser’s web cache. The survey automatically saves your responses after each page. You can preview the questions as a PDF to determine what information you need to gather. Please direct this link to the person in your organization best able to answer these questions. One submission per agency only please.   Start the...

CCVO launches Emergency Preparedness Initiative to help Calgary’s Nonprofits

  CALGARY, Alberta — The Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO), working closely with stakeholder partners The City of Calgary’s Community and Neighbourhood Services (CNS), Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), United Way of Calgary, the Canadian Red Cross, and Alberta Health Services, has begun a two-year Emergency Preparedness Initiative that will help ensure Calgary’s nonprofit sector is prepared to effectively respond to emergencies, and establish systems and processes to support a coordinated response from the nonprofit and public sectors during an emergency.   CCVO welcomes Matt Sawatsky as their dedicated Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. Matt has a diverse background in disaster preparedness and response which has included years of front line and management experience. Most recently Matt was the Recovery Supervisor for the Canadian Red Cross Society’s 2013 flood operations in High River.   “Since the floods of 2013, CCVO has sent out several post-flood surveys, and the numbers show that there is work to be done to ensure Calgary’s nonprofits are ready to respond to any future disasters or emergencies,” says Sawatsky. “We discovered that only half of nonprofits surveyed had an emergency response plan, and that while 69% reported they had an evacuation plan, 70% did not have a plan to work offsite if forced to evacuate. The need to keep essential services running during an emergency are just that, essential. We will be working with City partners and other nonprofit organizations to establish a stronger collaboration and coordination between sectors to achieve that.”   About CCVO The Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO) is a bold advocate and champion of the nonprofit sector. We promote and strengthen...

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.

CCVO supports secondary suites

Dear Mayor Nenshi and Members of City Council;

Re: Support for Increase in Secondary Suites

The Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO), strongly urges you to legalize and increase access to secondary suites.

CCVO exists to support and strengthen the nonprofit sector. We have a membership of over 300 Calgary based nonprofits that reflect the breadth and diversity of the sector.

Calgary Police Service responds to Police Information Check changes

The Calgary Police Service has a very important role within our community to work vigilantly in promotion of all facets of public safety as a core function of the organization. One of these roles has been to work with the community to provide criminal records checks for various community activities including volunteer activities. We take this responsibility very seriously, and have made many changes over the years to improve the processes with a vigilant eye to the levels of intrusion we might represent to those socially minded people who just want to help others in the community. It’s the spirit of volunteerism in Calgary that truly distinguishes us from other municipalities.

What a CRA Audit Means for Charities  

A number of articles (CBC, CTV, Toronto Star) on Canada Revenue Agency’s audits of charities over the past couple of weeks raise concerns around the CRA’s independence from political interests.

AB Nonprofit Sector Fact Sheet

CCVO has created a sector messaging and leadership engagement document that includes key facts about the nonprofit sector, issues affecting the sector and ways the province could address them, and 7 questions for Alberta’s party leaders and leadership candidates.

ANVSI renewed, CCVO CEO Katherine van Kooy named to Leader’s Council

On June 6, 2014, Minister of Culture, Heather Klimchuk announced the launch of the renewed Alberta Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector Initiative (ANVSI). This initiative reflects the Government of Alberta’s commitment to working with the nonprofit/voluntary sector to find solutions to challenges affecting the long-term health of the sector and its ability to continue supporting strong and vital communities.

Imagine Canada works to provide clarity on Anti-Spam Laws

Today Imagine Canada published an Issue Alert that hopes to clarify some of the continued grey areas of the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), particularly in regard to exemptions for charities.
The regulations state that charities are exempt from requiring express or implied consent under the new regulations for any message “that is sent by or on behalf of a registered charity as defined in subsection 248(1) of the Income Tax Act and the message has as its primary purpose raising funds for the charity.”

Alberta Budget 2014/15: Implications for the Nonprofit Sector

The Government of Alberta’s 2014-15 Budget, released on March 6th, projects $43 billion in revenues and an operational surplus of $2.6 billion. When flood assistance and debt servicing are removed from the equation, Budget 2014 amounts to a 3.9% increase over forecasted expenditures for 2013-14. This is in keeping with the recent throne speech commitment to keeping spending below growth and inflation until 2015. As the government is forecasting growth and inflation for the coming fiscal year to be 5%; in effect, this budget represents a slight decrease in operational expenditures. In order to support comparison of this year’s budgeted expenditures with previous years, the summary tables on pages 9-11 show ministry totals with flood related costs, as well as with these extraordinary costs removed....

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