TROCL wants political parties to walk the talk

Better recognize the expertise of organizations

©Photo courtesy – The Action

The Table organized a conference on September 7 as part of the 2022 provincial elections.

As part of the Quebec election campaign, the Regional Table of Autonomous Community Organizations of Lanaudière (TROCL) held a press conference to demand that political parties commit to finally officially recognizing autonomous community organizations, their expertise and their autonomy.

To succeed in carrying out their mission, organizing activities and meeting the needs expressed by their members, most independent community organizations must have access to funding per project, funding which is very often short-term according to the TROCL. This type of financing is accompanied by criteria, orientations and constraints that force the organizations to have to frame the response to the needs of their members in these projects. “To ensure all of our activities and projects, our organization must deal with a budget that includes 50% funding per project. This way of operating weakens our projects by creating instability and difficulty in long-term planning,” says Annie Chauvette, coordinator of the organization Réussite scolaire Montcalm. In addition, this funding per project overloads organizations with administrative work, from drafting projects to accountability, time that is not spent with the members of the organizations.

Recognized as essential

During the pandemic, the Quebec government has repeatedly recognized the essential nature of autonomous community organizations. As Pierre Lafontaine, consultation officer at the regional consultation table for disabled people’s associations in Lanaudière (TCRAPHL) puts it: “The organizations have shown creativity, mutual aid and peer support. Many disability support organizations and other sectors have largely compensated for the disruptions, suspensions or reductions in public network services, including the CISSS de Lanaudière”. The TROCL wonders why the Quebec government, when it recognizes the strengths of the independent community movement, does not choose to significantly increase the funding of all organizations.

Increasing funding to the mission: the priority

Several governments often mentioned that community demands were exaggerated. “If the government stopped creating new project-based funding programs, or funding institutional projects that duplicate what the organizations are already doing, we would find the means to ensure greater funding for the overall mission of the 200 community organizations that make a real difference in the lives of more than 100,000 Lanaudoises and Lanaudois,” explains Caroline Parent, administrator of the TROCL.

Autonomous community organizations in Lanaudière and Quebec are therefore asking all political parties to make a commitment to give priority to increasing funding for the overall mission as of the next government budget. “It is time for the next government to choose people over bureaucracy. Every dollar invested in the autonomous community movement allows organizations to get closer to their members and away from the administration,” explains Hugo Valiquette, Director of TROCL

The Table adds that autonomous community organizations offer places of trust, listening and respect. Bonds of trust are established and become a little stronger each time a person walks through the door of an organization. Places where it is possible to get involved in associative life, to participate in activities and even ultimately, to engage in democratic processes, such as being elected to the board of directors, and thus, regaining individual power and contributing collectively. The expertise, skills and professionalism of organizations must be truly recognized by all Quebec political parties.

TROCL wants political parties to walk the talk