HOMELESSNESS: MARJOLAINE BOUTIN-SWEET SLAMS MINISTER DIANE FINLEY’S POLITICAL INTERFERENCE
May 9th, 2012 - 6:15pm
Many organizations that work with homeless people denied funding after Minister’s interference
OTTAWA — Official Opposition Housing Critic, Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga), slammed the deplorable attitude of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Diane Finley, who intervened at the last minute to block funding to organizations that work with low-income families and homeless people.
This political interference is all the more shocking because Quebec and Ottawa had reached an agreement providing that funding granted under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) would be decided by a joint Quebec-Canada committee.
“The agreement has existed for twelve years and it’s the first time it’s been so disgracefully rejected by the minister,” said Boutin-Sweet. “This decision is all the more scandalous given that, in the case of the HPS request, a group of organizations that fight for the rights of the homeless, all the relevant committees had recommended the renewal of funding.”
The MP was shocked to see that this decision was made without any real justification, because recommendations are made based on the funding available and local priorities. “How can the minister justify her political interference in projects that have already obtained the committee’s recommendation and that respect Quebec’s priorities?”
The agreements between the federal government and the subsidized organizations should have been signed on April 1st; some projects are even being debated. For example, the relocation of Dopamine, a substance abuse organization in Hochelaga, is at serious risk because of delays in approval. “Given the worrying increase in the need for interventions, failure of the project would be a true catastrophe for the community,” said Boutin-Sweet. “It’s completely unacceptable that the minister prevents Quebec from fighting homelessness.”
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