Montreal community organizations are asking Quebec City for an additional $100 million annually

“Thanks for the thanks, but now it’s time to get some cash out.”

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Claiming to be chronically underfunded by the province, an alliance of Montreal community organizations, the RIOCM, called on the Quebec government to provide additional financial support of $100 million annually.

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“Groups have to fight every day to stay open,” said RIOCM coordinator Marie-Andrée Painchaud-Mathieu on Monday during a press conference attended by representatives of Quebec’s three opposition parties.

According to the RIOCM, half of its 531 groups receive less than $160,000 in funding, while a fifth only receive $100,000, a sum they say represents two salaries.

Painchaud-Mathieu said one-time funding in the form of emergency funding or support for individual projects creates even more problems.

“We are forced to deal with contractors,” she said. “And as soon as we have trained them, they leave because the funding has run out.” Between that and “ridiculously low salaries”, staff turnover is constant “and we spend our time hiring”.

Painchaud-Mathieu said that every year the National Assembly votes its thanks to congratulate community organizations, “thank you for the thanks, but now it’s time to get some money out.”

This article was written with the financial support of the Facebook and Canadian Press News grants.

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