• John Jantak

Schiefke announces second round of federal financial assistance for community organizations


Vaudreuil-Soulanges Member of Parliament Peter Schiefke (left) and Fred T. Agnew, Coordinator of Réseaux Emploi Entrepreneurship, holding the Facebook Portals that are a part of a project to help seniors to break isolation and ensure that they stay connected to friends and family.

Community organizations in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region are being invited to send in their applications for a second round of financial assistance through the federal Emergency Community Support Fund.

The announcement was made exclusively to The Journal by Vaudreuil-Soulanges federal MP Peter Schiefke during a telephone interview on September 29. “I’m encouraging all organizations in the region that meet the criteria to apply for this fund,” said Schiefke.

October 30 deadline

Organizations will be able to apply for the second round of the Emergency Community Support Fund beginning on October 5. The deadline to submit an application is October 30. “The same three organizational partners will be involved – Centraide, the Canadian Red Cross and the Community Foundations of Canada,” said Schiefke.

“We’ve already had 12 organizations receive over $350,000 from this fund and we would like to see even more organizations benefit from it so that we can continue to serve those in our community who need those services,” Schiefke said.

Easing financial difficulties

The Emergency Community Support Fund was created last May to help offset the financial difficulties many community organizations were facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Centre d’action bénévole L’Actuel – which offers services to seniors, people who are ill, convalescent and disabled, low-income families and individuals, and organizations – received nearly $80,000 in funding to help them continue their operations.

“L’Actuel does a lot of things,” said Schiefke.” They not only have their thrift store which is responsible for a good portion of the revenues they bring in as an organization, but they also have a soup kitchen where you can go and get food baskets. They also have toiletries and other items that single parents or those in need benefit from.”

Support welcomed

Francine Plamondon, Executive Director of L’Actuel welcomed the financial assistance the organization received from the Emergency Community Support Fund.

“This pandemic is difficult for organizations whose financial situation has been weakened by the cancellation of their fundraising activities or the reduction of their usual sources of income. The assistance we received gives us security and allows us to adjust in the short term to continue our services,” said Plamondon.

Pandemic takes toll on organizations

“When you speak to these organizations, you realize just how badly COVID-19 has impacted them while at the same time the demand for their services has increased. It’s kind of a double-whammy for them,” said Schiefke.

“They’re losing revenue while having to deal with a record number of people calling for their services,” he added. “This is why this fund was so important. It helps these organizations keep going and do the necessary work they’re doing. This helps them to keep going for longer.”

For more information about the Emergency Community Support Fund, visit the Government of Canada website at www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/emergency-community-support-fund.html.