Last August 9, backed by over 160 organizations and figures from the plural sector, Imagine Canada appealed to Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, for better data for this significant sector of the Canadian economy—an initiative that has Atypic’s full support. See the news item
Would you want your doctor to use blood samples from 10 years ago to make his diagnosis? Or your real estate agent to assess the value of your condo based on the 2008 market? And if you were single, how would you react if you learned that your prospective new flame used a profile photo from another decade on the dating site?
It’s a safe bet you wouldn’t appreciate it. Because before you get involved in something, you have to have a clear grasp of the facts: up-to-date data to know whether to take the plunge, whether to change course, whether to react and how, or just to avoid wasting your time.
Yet that’s exactly what the Canadian government is doing with the plural sector: making important decisions that affect industry stakeholders (and all Canadians) based on data that are 10 years old, from back before the 2008 economic crisis. Statistics Canada, previously a trusted and recurring source of statistical information, stopped compiling and disseminating critical data on the size, scope, financing and human resources of the charitable and non-profit sector.
Like the myriad other organizations that have expressed their support for Imagine Canada’s initiative, I am confident that such a situation would be unacceptable in any other industry. And yet, the plural sector is a non-negligible source of jobs and innovation for Canada.
At this time, “Canada’s 167,000 charities and nonprofits employ more than two million people in communities across the country and contribute more than 8% to the national GDP. That is more than both the automotive and retail sectors.”
And that’s not including all the services that the sector provides to a wide variety of clients, making up for substantial shortcomings in our system and ensuring that Canada remains, overall, a great place to live.
With many of our clients heading back to work after well-deserved vacations, rolling up their sleeves to tackle the problems of the day (and not those of 10 years ago), I hope that our government will fully appreciate the value of the contributions they make.
A realistic and up-to-date portrait, unfiltered and untouched: an important step in enabling us to plan our operations even better.