Last week, I continued to push the government to provide community-based non-profit mental health organizations with direct funding. The Liberals promised $25 billion over ten years for a Canada Mental Health Transfer. It declined to follow through on this and instead, claim to have rolled funding into the healthcare transfers to provinces. I pointed out to the Minister that, having done the math, it is falling short on its commitment by a $1.375 billion over five years. I have talked to the Minister several times about filling this gap with direct funding to organizations and agencies on the front lines. She responded with talking points but I am not dropping this issue, which is supported by the Canada Mental Health Association and greatly needed given the large number of Canadians suffering mental health disorders today.
Victoria-BC: Changes to federal funding distribution for language revitalization programs has raised concern for the survival of programming at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre (VNFC).
The VNFC offers language classes to meet the needs of its diverse Indigenous community, including Nuučaan̓uɫ, Nihiyaw (Cree - Y dialect and TH dialect), Nedut’en Carrier, Dene, Dakota, and Anishinaabe.
Johns praised Nuu-chah-nulth elders, educators and learners, who he said are making tremendous progress towards revitalizing their Indigenous language, in spite of the uncertainty of federal funding from one year to the next.
“Now their language program funding may be cut by up to 57 per cent because of a newly proposed federal heritage funding formula. The formula fails to recognize that British Columbia has the highest concentration of Indigenous language and cultural diversity of any province or territory in the country, with 35 distinct languages and more than 90 dialects,” said Johns in his statement.