On April 17th, community organizations gathered at the Manitoba Legislature to hear the provincial government unveil its 2012 budget. CCEDNet staff and members were on hand to comment on the Province’s plans to support community initiatives that address the root causes of poverty, crime, and community decline.
What we found were half-measures and frozen budgets. Although the budget does not cut spending in key community initiatives, it does little to increase necessary support for important community-based actions.
>> Click here to read CCEDNet's full response to the 2012 Manitoba Budget
CCEDNet's analysis of the budget highlights the need for a deficit reduction approach that is not about spending less, but rather spending smarter. Not just for our collective well-being, but also for more effective government, a more sustainable fiscal future, and healthier, safer and happier communities.
Here's how the budget relates to CCEDNet-Manitoba's member-adopted Policy Resolutions:
- Housing: Importantly, and to their credit, the government’s existing commitment to build 300 new social housing units per year remains, although there is no new investment in housing, leaving the result far short of what is needed. There was no mention of co-operative or social housing.
- Community-led Initiatives: There will be no new investment in long-term core funding for neighbourhood renewal corporations and other important CED initiatives. Support for Neighbourhoods Alive! and the Winnipeg Regeneration Strategy has been renewed, but not increased. There was a modest increase in the Co-operative Development budget.
- Social enterprise: The budget did not include mention of support for social enterprises or procurement policies that would recognize the high investment return for society that social enterprises have on reducing poverty by creating good jobs for people with barriers to employment. However, the Neighbourhoods Alive! Tax Credit for social enterprise development was renewed.
- Poverty reduction: The government will not increase EIA rates and will not be extending the EIA training timeline. Although the budget includes strategies to address poverty reduction and social inclusion, there are no new actions, funding or timelines for achieving results.