Community leagues say budget cuts could hit neighbourhoods hard
NDP Leader Rachel Notley was joined by various community league representatives to speak out against planned cuts to funds that the groups say are crucial to them. Dec. 4, 2019. (CTV News Edmonton)
EDMONTON -- Community leagues in Alberta say they're concerned the UCP government's $70-million funding cut to two programs could force some volunteer-run groups to shut down.
Budget 2019 puts forth a $56.8-million cut to the Community Initiatives Program and a $13-million cut to the Community Facility Enhancement Program, said a spokesperson for the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL).
“The province relies on Community League volunteers to plan, build and maintain over $500 million in existing local neighbourhood infrastructure where leagues deliver services and programs that support a vibrant society,” said Nora Begoray, business development director for EFCL.
"Cuts to this program will have a devastating and lasting impact on how our neighbourhoods thrive within our city, and our province.”
Members of the Strathearn Community League said they received $125,000 from the CFEP grant in 2018, which paid for 12 per cent of a community centre opened that April.
"Our league not only delivers programs and events for youth, families and individuals, but we are also the public voice of the community to the City and the Province. This change could effectively silence that voice, which very much deserves to be heard," said treasurer Jason Ruhle.
The budget also calls for the $1.4-billion Alberta Lottery Fund to be moved to general revenue instead of going to non-profits, which the community leagues worry could be a sign more cuts are to come.
The federations for both Edmonton's and Calgary's Community League Federations have written to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney explaining the effects that cuts would have on their organizations.