Manitoba Budget 2020 - Imagining an Economic Justice, Social Justice, & Climate Justice Budget

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“Our budget capitalizes on advantages such as publicly-owned Manitoba Hydro and Efficiency Manitoba, our strong social economy sector, local business acumen, and dynamic economic development strategies emerging in First Nations like Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, to show how a Green New Deal could roll out in Manitoba. We have all the elements we need; all that’s required is government leadership to put them together. …. 

“The strength of our budget is the way the recommendations in one area complement those in others. Training and investment for the North are rooted in community economic development and environmental principles that support our Green New Deal strategy and agriculture section. Our food security recommendations support the universal meal program in our K-12 education section.”

-Lynne Fernandez, editor - Change Starts Here: Manitoba Alternative Provincial Budget 2020


“CED is a community-led approach rooted in the Neechi Principles that creates economic opportunities while enhancing social and environmental conditions. … 

“Economic development in Manitoba would be stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive with an alternative CED approach that builds local economies, strengthens local community ownership, distributes profits equitably, and is focused on an inclusive approach to growth and employment, particularly for marginalized communities that face disproportionate poverty and unemployment rates.”  

-Michael Barkman - from the Community Economic Development chapter in Change Starts Here: Manitoba Alternative Provincial Budget 2020


Budgeting for alternatives rooted in CED

Last week, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - Manitoba office released Change Starts Here: Manitoba Alternative Provincial Budget 2020 - an exciting presentation of ideas & proposals authored by numerous volunteer contributors that address some of the big issues facing our province, like poverty, the climate crisis, and improving the well-being of all Manitobans. 

Read a quick summary here!

Many of the big ideas and solutions that members of the Canadian CED Network Manitoba (CCEDNet Manitoba) are already practicing in our communities are at the heart of the Alternative Provincial Budget 2020 (APB). In Change Starts Here, Community Economic Development is articulated as an approach to strengthen Manitoba’s economy in urban, rural, and northern communities, to reduce inequality & poverty, and to support a Green New Deal strategy. The role of social economy enterprises such as cooperatives, credit unions, and social enterprises as well as community-based organizations and nonprofits in this approach is essential. 

In Change Starts Here, many CCEDNet Manitoba policy resolutions are articulated within a broader presentation of how Manitoba could budget for people, planet, and prosperity. CCEDNet Manitoba’s public policy mandate is the result of a democratic process. Every year, members work together to create a pragmatic, wide-ranging and solutions-focused set of public policy resolutions. 

Current Context

On March 11, 2020, the Manitoba government will announce Budget 2020. To aid this process, CCEDNet Manitoba contributed ideas to the public consultation process for Budget 2020. Read our entire budget submission here. The ideas submitted to the province align with the chapters submitted by CCEDNet Manitoba to Change Starts Here.

The links below include a quick summary of the ideas and policy solutions articulated by the Network in both Change Starts Here and in our 2020 provincial budget submission. It is our community vision for Manitoba’s Budget 2020. 

Last week, the province publicized the mandate letters to Manitoba cabinet ministers penned by the Premier. These letters indicate the direction and priorities of the government, and many intersect with what’s going on in the Manitoba Community Economic Development sector. Stay tuned for a deeper analysis of these letters, how Manitoba’s Budget 2020 will interact with these categories, and any important next steps.

Watch for a CCEDNet budget analysis later this week. 


Community Economic Development & A Stronger Economy

Given the possibilities of CED to strengthen local economies, government should play a crucial role in setting the conditions for CED. Considering its strong outcomes and results, the infrastructure to support CED is under-resourced. Strengthening the sector would lead to positive results for the entire economy.

CCEDNet Manitoba's chapter in Change Starts Here as well as our submission to the provincial budget consultation focuses on supporting CED enterprises and economic growth. Our recommendations boost Manitoba’s economic potential, create jobs, reduce poverty through key economic activities, address climate change through a CED approach, and strengthen local, fair economies.

Recommendations:

  • Adopt a provincial CED Policy Framework & Lens, including its use as a framework for a Green New Deal
  • Develop a Manitoba Social Enterprise Strategy
  • Strengthen the co-op community and co-op development
  • Bolster business & enterprise support services for low-income and rural Manitobans
  • Explore innovative social finance options in partnership with the CED sector, including enhancing the CED Tax Credit

Economic Inclusion

Change Starts Here has a strong emphasis on addressing poverty through key investments and programs to strengthen social inclusion and equity. It increases the supply of social and affordable housing, reverses changes to Rent Assist, invests in childcare and food security, and converts Employment & Income Assistance to a Livable Basic Needs Benefit, in line with CCEDNet policy resolutions, as well as the work of Make Poverty History Manitoba and the Right to Housing coalition. 

Read more about in these relevant chapters from Change Starts Here:

CCEDNet Manitoba’s contribution to Change Starts Here and the provincial budget consultation process focus on increasing economic inclusion of individual Manitobans through the power of social procurement. 

This policy tool, growing in practice across Canada, can help stimulate economic inclusion in Manitoba through creating jobs, helping transition Manitobans from Employment & Income Assistance into meaningful work, as well as reducing costly expenditures in Families, Justice, and Health over the long-term. This practice, alongside the key investments in wraparound supports for low-income Manitobans above, would create greater economic inclusion for all.

Recommendations:

  • Implement social procurement that generates additional value through enhanced economic, social, and environmental outcomes, increases job and training opportunities for people facing barriers to employment, while increasing purchasing from social enterprises, cooperatives, and non-profits. This could be doing using different policy tools, such as: 
    • Community Benefits Agreements, assigning 10% of the selection value to community benefits provisions for future projects, particularly considering benefits such as workforce development and inclusive employment. 
    • Set asides in purchasing that can only be accessed by social enterprises, cooperatives and/or non-profits.

Stronger, Healthier, Safer Communities: Community-Led Development

In Manitoba, community development has been largely conducted by community-based organizations (CBOs) who have led important work to address complex community challenges, to strengthen our province’s communities, and to revitalize local economies that benefit everyone. Development has been most effective and sustainable when it is community-led.

These organizations do much more than provide band aid solutions or charity. CBOs are working on alternative development models built on local prosperity, community economic development, local ownership, and healthy communities.

CCEDNet Manitoba's inclusion in Change Starts Here in the Municipal Relations chapter, as well as the submission to the province’s budget consultation includes recommendations related to government’s support for community-based organizations and non-profits that are leading the development of stronger and safer communities. 

Recommendations:

  • Co-create and co-implement the provincial Non-Profit Strategy for Community Development with community organizations and their relevant networks
  • Renew and restructure the Building Sustainable Communities program for community-led development with multi-year, streamlined funding, with the following characteristics:
    • A targeted approach, including a focus that identifies and invests in key neighbourhoods and communities in the greatest need 
    • Funded multi-year agreements to a maximum of five years
    • Effective communication channels
    • Predictability of provincial funding
    • Support for an ‘ecosystem’ approach to the community development

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