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Advocate calling on parties to stop ignoring non-profit sector ahead of election

Imagine Canada's Bernadette Johnson says they have not seen any comprehensive plan to support the non-profit sector from any federal party.
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Election Day is Sept. 20.

With the federal election just days away, a non-profit sector advocate is calling on parties to stop ignoring charities and the non-profit sector.

Bernadette Johnson, Imagine Canada Director of Advocacy and Knowledge Mobilization, says she feels many party policies or issues brought up during the federal debates — like child care, climate change response, or post-pandemic mental health services — implicate and rely on the non-profit sector.

However, Johnson thinks there has been a lack of a spotlight on the sector throughout the election so far.

"We've yet to see a comprehensive plan from any federal party to support the non-profit sector," she told CityNews' The Sam Laprade Show on Thursday. "Yet, there appears to be an exclusive focus by candidates on supporting businesses."

Like businesses, Johnson says there are aspects of the non-profit sector that rely heavily on earned income, which can include the sale of tickets or goods and services.

This comes as the sector is seeing an increased demand for services, which corresponds with a decline in revenue for more than half of non-profits.

"About 56 per cent of organizations are struggling with their capacity," Johnson explained. "Donations have declined, volunteers have not returned to pre-pandemic levels and the non-profit sector relies heavily on the work of volunteer individuals."

Following the election, Johnson would like to see a corresponding plan to work with the non-profit sector as a strategic partner and develop federal policies and programs aimed at sustaining non-profits.

You can listen to the full interview with Sam Laprade below:

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