UCC asks Freeland to help ethnocultural community organizations and Churches

Alexandra Chyczij

NP-UN National Affairs Desk.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress is asking Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to help ethnocultural community organizations and Churches.

In a November 20 letter to Freeland, UCC National President Alexandra Chyczij said that “many cultural, arts, heritage, educational and not-for-profit organizations and Churches throughout Canada and in our community are suffering the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and need the support of the Government of Canada during this difficult time.”

“Heritage language schools and community cultural organizations have been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. Community cultural organizations such as dance, music, visual arts groups and others rely on events, which have been cancelled, to raise revenue to fund their operations. Government support programs have focused on support for the professional arts community, leaving community and amateur organizations ineligible for support.

“Additionally, community charitable organizations have seen a decrease in donations as Canadians face increased economic uncertainty. Community organizations that own or control property and rely on rents for revenue are dealing with the inability of their renters to make payments and will have difficulty paying property tax and covering overhead costs (maintenance, utilities, etc.)

“As the Department of Finance and the Government of Canada prepare the Fall 2020 Economic Update, the UCC makes the following policy recommendations that we believe will assist in mitigating the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic for ethnocultural community organizations and Churches:

Develop government funding opportunities for which non-professional and community-based arts, cultural, music and dance groups will be eligible as part of the Government’s response to mitigating the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Renew the formerly available federal tax credit for community-based heritage language instruction.

Introduce an immediate enhancement of the charitable donation tax credit and work with municipalities to provide relief for not-for-profits and charities for property tax payments.”

Chyczij added that he UCC is available to meet (virtually) with Freeland or her staff to discuss these issues in greater detail.