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Feds pledge $350M to help charities plug holes in funding


OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government plans to provide $350 million to Canada's charities sector, which has seen a severe drop in donations because of COVID-19.

Charities are struggling to get donations, with donors hurting financially themselves and an inability to hold fundraising events.

Much of the money will flow through three national groups to help the country's 86,000 registered charities deal with initial impacts of the pandemic, with a portion of funds going to small, independent organizations.

Trudeau says charities and non-profits are doing tremendous work to meet tremendous demand for their services.

Estimates from Imagine Canada, a charity that promotes the work other charities do, suggest donations will decline between $4.2 billion and $6.3 billion, and that between 117,000 and 195,000 workers could be laid off depending on the length of the COVID-19 crisis.

The federal pledge falls short of the $10 billion that charities had been asking for as a stabilization fund, but many are expected to access a wage subsidy program to help hire back laid-off staff.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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