Townhall with Parliamentary Secretary Megan Dykeman – A Recap
On Wednesday, April 12, Vantage Point hosted a town hall with the Parliamentary Secretary (PS) for Community Development and Non-Profits, Megan Dykeman. Over the hour-long event, PS Dykeman shared details about the 2023 BC Budget, the provincial government’s priorities for the year ahead, and what the non-profit sector can expect from her as she advocates for the sector.
Many of you may remember that the position of Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits was created in 2020 after advocacy from the non-profit sector to create a home in government for our issues. Similar advocacy is taking place in other provinces and at the federal level.
In BC, the PS works with the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to advance social impact initiatives, and PS Dykeman’s mandate letter can be viewed here.
A sincere thank you to thank Parliamentary Secretary Megan Dykeman and her team for joining us for this event. Vantage Point hosts town hall events to convene the sector, provide a platform to hear from and ask questions to elected officials and other people of influence, and give organizations an introduction to key decision-makers that impact our work. Vantage Point looks forward to hosting more opportunities to connect with elected officials and other influential sector leaders.
Fifty organizations joined to hear PS Dykeman share about her mandate, the 2023 BC Budget, and how the government is working to support non-profits in BC. Registration information was shared with Vantage Point members in advance, then opened on a first-come, first-serve basis. A few of the highlights from PS Dykeman’s message:
- Non-profits are partners in creating a more inclusive, sustainable, and innovative economy that works for all people in the province.
- In BC, the unemployment rate is near historic lows (5.1% in February) but is leading to high job vacancies in some sectors. Inflation has started to ease (6.2% in February) but affordability challenges remain, while interest rates are high.
- Budget 2023 is focused on making smart investments to tackle today’s biggest challenges and help individuals, families, businesses, and communities today build a stronger more secure future.
- Government initiatives support health, affordability, reconciliation, climate, and emergency preparedness, and provide infrastructure supports for all communities across BC.
- BC Budget highlights include permanent increases to the Climate Action Tax Credit, a Renter’s Tax Credit, enhancements to the BC Family Benefit, and free prescription contraception. The full BC Budget can be found here.
Participants – from the BC Association of Farmers Markets, Small Business BC, BC Community Response Networks, and more – asked questions and raised important topics at the event. Questions ranged from asking about core funding and trust-based granting to inquiring about the progress the government is making on adapting the Lobbyist Transparency Act to better support non-profits, to asking about plans for supporting non-profits and charities in BC. During the question period, PS Dykeman shared:
- She is aware of the challenges caused by short-term funding. As an advocate and ally to the sector, she is committed to working with colleagues to address these issues.
- PS Dykeman and her team are looking to the Recovery and Resiliency fund to learn more about the potential benefits of trust-based funding and the new distribution model it represents. Recipients of funding from the Recovery and Resiliency Fund will be announced this spring and Parliamentary Secretary Dykeman will continue the advocacy started by her predecessor Niki Sharma on this new model that distributes funding through Foundations closer to communities, instead of through decisions made solely in government.
- The Lobbying Transparency Act remains a priority for Minister Sharma in her new role as Attorney General. Working with the Minister and others, the PS will continue to advocate for changes to reduce the administrative burden on non-profits and welcomes suggestions from the sector.
- The Office of the Registrar recently revised documents for non-profits, available here.
- Parliamentary Secretary Dykeman is actively interested in hearing about the on-the-ground challenges non-profits face. She will continue to participate in town halls, roundtables, and one-on-one meetings with organizations to hear from and understand the needs of the sector.
Have a suggestion of whom we should invite to speak at a future town hall event? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your recommendations!
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