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The Canadian Perspective

~ November 2006 ~ Topics

Canadian Government Cuts Canada Volunteerism Initiative

The future of volunteerism in Canada has come under fire recently. The federal government announced that they were cutting $9.7 million and eliminating the Canada Volunteerism Initiative (CVI).

The government cut funding to the CVI citing that it was a "non-core program" that does not "meet the priorities of the federal government or Canadians."

Marlene Deboisbriand, President of Volunteer Canada commented, "The cuts will undoubtedly have a significant long term impact. The dollars provided through the CVI allowed for 13 networks to operate from coast to coast developing tools and programs aimed to retain and increase volunteerism – on the ground (where it happens)."

The CVI was created in 2002 to:

  • encourage Canadians to volunteer with organizations
  • improve the capacity of organizations to involve volunteers
  • enhance the experience of volunteering

The dollars cut also helped to support 3 outreach campaigns; Global Youth Service Days, National Volunteer Week and International Volunteer Day. These cuts will also have a significant impact on other organizations that support volunteerism such as Volunteer Canada.

"Volunteer Canada is a strong organization with an important mission – it existed before the CVI and will continue to exist after. Having said that, this will mean significant downsizing and, likely, a more narrowed focus for the organization," said Marlene.

This article is based on the views and research of the author and in no way represents the views of the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Kelly Boudreau

Kelly Boudreau is the Community Volunteer Coordinator for the Canadian Diabetes Association for the Nova Scotia Region in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She can be reached by phone at: (902) 453-4232 Ext 3232 or at: kelly.noiles@diabetes.ca.

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