October 16th, 2020
Harris asks Minister of Families, Children & Social Development for supports for NL service clubs
Hon. Achmed Hussen
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Dear Minister Hussen:
I am writing to bring your attention to the plight of service organizations in St. John’s East and in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, in particular the Lions Clubs, who provide essential support to communities and the many people in need who rely on them. My office has spoken with an officer of the Lions District N4 Newfoundland and Labrador comprised of fifty-one clubs with over 1200 members in the eastern part of the province from Gander to Pouch Cove. They are all in financial difficulty because of the pandemic and I am advised that of the fifty-one clubs, twenty-one may be unable to operate because of these circumstances.
These Lions Clubs service many small communities and provide social and economic supports and actively fundraise for many causes. During the pandemic these clubs have been helping by reaching out to vulnerable people like low income families who have children with disabilities and delivering food hampers. They partner with other organizations in communities to assist with socialization of seniors, and fundraise to support those with special medical costs and need assistance, amongst many other examples.
These clubs have been helping out their communities and now they need help. Most have not been able to qualify for any of the small business programs and other financial supports made available by government.
I am writing to you in your capacity as minister to engage with the non-profit sector in support of your mandate to urge you and your department to consider how organizations like Lions Clubs can continue to provide these services that are helping people through this tough time. If there are existing programs please advise, but otherwise we hope that you and your government can develop specific programs to support this sector.
Jack Harris, Q.C., M.P.
St. John’s East