Posted on Friday, January 11, 2019 at 3:30 p.m.
Province cuts trillium foundation funding
Local municipalities seeking financial aid from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for community projects may have less chance of success. The provincial government is cutting its support funding for the foundation by several million dollars.
Last month provincial media reported that the Ford Progressive Conservative government is cutting its funding allocation to the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) by $15 million. There was no mention of the planned funding reduction in the government’s earlier economic profile report. The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) has criticized the government’s action and is calling on voters, local municipal governments, service clubs and other groups to lobby Queens Park to reverse the decision.
“The government has just put your community at risk by withdrawing a promised $15 million to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, money that would have been granted out to community projects,” stated the ONN in a news release. “Funding that would have strengthened communities won’t be distributed. Like funding to fix the ice rink roof, support a local festival, buy community play equipment, provide meals to vulnerable people, and create jobs.”
The ONN warned that finding alternate sources of financial aid to the OTF funding cut would be hard.
“Other foundations, municipalities, and donors cannot fill the funding gap the government has just created,” the ONN stated. “The OTF is the only province-wide fund for all organizations, regardless of size or subsector, to support important community initiatives. In many rural and small communities, the OTF is the only community grant-maker.”
Local OTF benefits
In the Five Counties region, some of the most recent projects receiving OTF aid include the Tucker House Renewal Centre in the City of Clarence-Rockland, the Vankleek Hill Agricultural Society in Champlain Township, the Village of Crysler in North Stormont Township, and the Village of Winchester in North Dundas Township.
Tucker House received $174,100 to help with upgrades to its environmental learning centre operation, which provides educational programs to improve local awareness of the environment. A $36,600 grant to the Vankleek Hill Agricultural Society helped with upgrades to the electrical system at the Vankleek Hill Fair grounds, a site for many local festival events. The Crysler Community Centre in North Stormont Township benefited from a $90,000 grant to assist with replacing the roof, upgrading the facility kitchen, and making the community centre more accessible to people with mobility problems. The Winchester Curling Club received $7900 for weatherproofing and other facility upgrades to the local curling rink.
The ONN recommends contacting local MPPs and also sending letters or email to Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Tibollo at email@example.com, and sharing local stories of how OTF funding has helped support community projects and programs. The ONN noted that during the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the OTF invested about $100 million into local economies across the province through its grants.