Federal advocacy - Ontario Nonprofit Network


Canada’s budget

ONN monitors federal policy and financing in relation to the nonprofit sector. Where relevant, ONN tracks key issues and advocates for supports for Ontario nonprofits through the federal budget. Below, you will find our most recent updates, and perspectives from across our network.

Federal budget 2024 signals support for nonprofit driven solutions

Canada’s 2024 budget – Fairness for every generation – was tabled mid-April with $535 billion in total spending for this financial year, $497.8 billion in revenues, and a $39.8 billion deficit. This budget bets on better than expected revenues this year compared to last, to spend. Minister of Finance stressed that fair change, supporting the middle class, and promising young Canadians a better future were the key themes guiding this year’s budget. ONN’s submission for the federal pre-budget cycle emphasized the need to prioritize the expansion of nonprofit and public sector driven publicly-funded services. We’re pleased to see that loud and clear in two of the biggest budget investments this year – housing and child care. Public policy that prioritizes nonprofits to deliver care, and puts safeguards in place to eradicate commercialization of care will ensure communities continue to have access to high-quality social infrastructure for generations to come. We’re also pleased to see the emphasis on public ownership of lands (either by government or nonprofits), particularly to drive non-market housing solutions in perpetuity. Whether in rural, suburban, or urban communities, public policy that enables nonprofits to steward existing and potential lands and facilities can ensure public ownership of public assets in perpetuity. 

Announcements we are excited about

  • $1 billion for the Affordable Housing Fund to Build Affordable Homes to support nonprofit, co-operative, and public housing providers.
  • Federal government intends to restrict the purchase and acquisition of existing single-family homes by very large, corporate investors. The government will consult in the coming months and provide further details in the 2024 Fall Economic Statement.
  • $1.5 billion Canada Rental Protection Fund, to be administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, to protect the stock of affordable housing in Canada. The Fund will provide $1 billion in loans and $470 million in contributions to support affordable housing providers to acquire units and preserve rents at a stable level for decades to come.
  • $1 billion Child Care Expansion Loan Program and $60 million in non-repayable grants, starting this year, to public and nonprofit child care providers to build more child care spaces and renovate their existing facilities. The loans and grants will be disseminated through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to forge synergies between housing and child care development. 
  • Up to $41.5 million over four years, starting next year, and up to $15 million ongoing from within ESDC to establish a new capacity building program to help child care providers apply for funding through the Child Care Expansion Loan Program and to support Early Learning and Child Care research initiatives.
  • Sectoral Table on the Care Economy that will consult and provide recommendations to the federal government on concrete actions to better support the care economy, including early learning and child care.
  • Up to $5 billion in loan guarantees to unlock access to capital for Indigenous communities, creating economic opportunities and supporting their economic development priorities.

Opportunities we want to dig into

  • $2.4 billion for targeted AI support:
    • $2 billion over five years, starting this year, to launch a new AI Compute Access Fund and Canadian AI Sovereign Compute Strategy, to help Canadian researchers, start-ups, and scale-up businesses access the computational power they need to compete and help catalyze the development of Canadian-owned and located AI infrastructure. 
    • $200 million over five years, starting this year, to boost AI start-ups to bring new technologies to market, and accelerate AI adoption in critical sectors, such as agriculture, clean technology, health care, and manufacturing. 
    • $100 million over five years, starting this year, for the National Research Council’s AI Assist Program to help Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses and innovators build and deploy new AI solutions, potentially in coordination with major firms, to increase productivity across the country.
    • $50 million over four years, starting next year, to support workers who may be impacted by AI, such as creative industries. This support will be delivered through the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program, which will provide new skills training for workers in potentially disrupted sectors and communities.
  • $50 million over five years, starting this year, to create an AI Safety Institute of Canada to ensure the safe development and deployment of AI. The AI Safety Institute will help Canada better understand and protect against the risks of advanced and generative AI systems. The government will engage with stakeholders and international partners with competitive AI policies to inform the final design and stand-up of the AI Safety Institute.
  • Permanent expansion of the reach of the Canada Student Loan Forgiveness Program to more health care and social services professionals (social workers, personal support workers, psychologists) working in rural and remote communities.
  • $500 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, to Public Services and Procurement Canada to launch a new Public Lands Acquisition Fund, which will purchase land from other orders of government to help spur sustainable, mixed-market housing. ­ 

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