Friday, June 2, 2023

Since the economy is more than the people

It’s We agree, originality is the way to start an open letter.

But here is our observation, without fanfare. The state of affairs in all areas of the community is a crisis. Not a day goes by without community organizations facing crises that also force many to live in conditions of inhuman misery.

More and more people are no longer able to meet their basic needs such as food, housing, care, and safe living. The conditions of their lives are deteriorating in the course of the breakdown, this is an unacceptable situation which explains the total indifference of our governments.

Community organizations work with people who cannot access public services. We are talking here about real people, whom the system has often abandoned when it should act to limit the deterioration of living conditions for all. However, despite its title, the recent budget tabled by the CAQ is far from embodying the orientations of “turning Quebec”. And it is clear that the federal government will not fill the gaps. The loss of the population of Montreal will be particularly significant.

The budgets of our governments not only do not provide any measures that really improve people’s living conditions, but community groups are still completely left to their own fate in growing and more complex needs. In the task of welcoming and supporting vulnerable people, community groups must deal with the thin means that are sprinkled around them. The provincial budget provides a slight increase in the basic foundation of $36 million for 3,000 independent community health and social services institutions in Quebec, while the needs for $370 million, including $110 for Montreal. Remember that King was at the epicenter of the pandemic and is still suffering.

Added to this was the struggle between the federal government and the provincial government, then between Quebec and the City of Montreal, to know who was responsible. He stuck to the sacred organizations between the tree and the bark. In this concern, the real losers are the most vulnerable. At the federal and provincial levels, no new housing investment reserved for the social is planned this year, as the housing crisis persists.

We welcome people we have never seen in our resources. Our governments had the opportunity to recognize that we are part of the solution, that our voices are heard and that our role is valued. You therefore understand our anger, as you see his delay in the task of protecting the poor. Legault and Trudeau are betting on denial: they corrupt public institutions and ignore the distress that people live in poverty. Community organizations know all too well where this will lead: to greater distress, to more exclusion, to more people seeking help.

Our concerns are very real. The situation calls for human solidarity, political courage and bold action. The opportunity was lost this year. Happy again?

Marie-Andrée Painchaud, coordinator of the intersectoral reorganization of Community Organizations of Montreal (RIOCM)

Diana Lombardi, Coordinator of the Action Network of Women in Health and Social Services (RAFSSS)

Annie Savage, Director Support Network for Individuals and Homeless People of Montreal (RAPSIM)

Olivier Gauvin, Coordinator of the Board of Montreal Community Organizations for the Fight against HIV/AIDS (TOMS)

Aegidius Fontaine, Director General of the Regional Committee on Autism and Intellectual Disability (CRADI)

Maryse Bisson, Executive Director of the Coalition for Community Support (COMACO)

Anne Pelletier, executive director of the group of physical disabilities organizations on the island of Montreal (DéPhy Montréal)

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