City News provides information on the annual City Budget process and the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy. It also highlights opportunities for civic engagement in these important processes. This page also highlights City program news. The latest highlights will also be posted under What's New on the Home page.
For any questions, please contact Joan Anderson at THN.
For information on City policy on "political activities" please see below.
Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy - Update
The final Strategy was adopted by the City Council on November 4! This is a big achievement by many in the community and around Council who contributed to this milestone. The work will continue through the City Budget process for commitments to be backed by resources and to monitor progress. Updates on this issue will return at a later point. For more detailed explanation, please see the this City information: Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy and TO Prosperity 2015-2018 Term Action Plan.
You can also contact Joan Anderson at THN, with questions. THN's latest submission to the City on this issue was made to the Executive Committee October 20.
City "Policy on Political Activities"
The City recognizes the importance of civic engagement and encourages civic engagement.
THN has received questions about limitations for not-for-profits in educating City Council (Councillor visits, e-mails, deputations) about the importance of City services, especially for organizations which depend upon City funding for some of their important work in the community.
The City has a Policy on Political Activities that outlines activities that are "restricted" and "unrestricted activity" within any City grant-funded activity. The policy is consistent with Canada Revenue Agency regulations for registered charities and applies to political activity related to municipal, provincial and federal elections.
As a general rule, for City grants funding, or any government funding and for charitable organizations, the key is to be non-partisan. In the language of the City policy: "A grant recipient may not use funds provided by the City to oppose or endorse a named candidate, party, or elected official." In general, a protective and strategic approach is to focus criticisms or agreement on the policies or proposed policies of elected officials. It's about what they have proposed or are doing, not who they are, not about preferences.
Information on how to make deputations to committees of Council is found on the City web-site
Toronto Urban Health Fund (TUHF)
September 30, 2013, the Board of Health approved consolidation of the AIDS and Drug Prevention Programs into a new program named Toronto Urban Health Fund (TUHF) with three funding streams: HIV Prevention, Harm Reduction and Child & Youth Resiliency.
Toronto Public Health - community funding: Background
Until 2012 the Toronto Public Health administered the AIDS Prevention and Drug Prevention Investment Programs but 100% of the funding came from the City's broader Community Partnership and Investment Program (CPIP). Starting in 2012, the AIDS Prevention and Drug Prevention Investment programs became administered completely by Toronto Public Health and cost-shared with the province of Ontario, the way most Public Health programs are funded. The City funds 25% and the Province funds 75%. For every dollar invested by the City, the Province provides three dollars. Any time the City might cut a dollar, we lose 3 dollars from the Province.
The City of Toronto Grants - not HIV specific
These are partnerships or investments that help the City of Toronto achieve its social, economic and cultural goals for its residents. Social Planning Toronto produced "Building Toronto, Creating Community" (October 2014), a report on 'The City of Toronto's Investment in Nonprofit Community Services' that demonstrates the City's investments, the benefits to the City and its communities and the need for a new, stable investment plan.
The City's goals are better achieved by supporting the work of organizations that are closer to the communities they serve. City of Toronto Community Partnership and Investment Program (CPIP) includes Community Service Partnerships (CSP), which funds services that facilitate "access to services that improve social outcomes for vulnerable, marginalized and high-risk communities." HIV-related services partner with a number of these agencies.